Why the Strongest Political Tactics Can Be Learned From Our Resist Movie List
Welcome to The Campaign Workshop’s Resist Movie List!
Movies are always a good idea. I always find it cathartic to immerse myself in scripted drama as a temporary escape from the real life political drama we are all living through because we all need a temporary escape. Watching movies can ignite the resistance by reminding of political tactics we’ve used in the past.
1. A Time To Kill
I get emotional every time I watch this movie. The storyline follows a father who is accused of killing the men who raped and beat his daughter. The twist is that the father is black, the deceased are white, and the case takes place in the deep south. And while the film was released in the mid-1990s, this case is still incredibly relevant to the world we are all currently living now. Resisters will identify with both the father and his lawyer in this dramatic movie. I promise you it is worth the watch!
2. Django Unchained
This movie displays one man’s journey to rescue the woman he loves. While all of the movies have a common theme to fight the system, Django Unchained does it in a unique fashion. Django is easy to root for against his abhorrent oppressors and you will enjoy every minute of watching his adventures.
This movie tells the story of how Gandhi became the legend that we all know. Ben Kingsley, who won the Best Actor Academy Award for his role as Gandhi, gives a remarkable performance that you don't want to miss.
4. Good Night and Good Luck
Resistance takes many forms. I love how this movie shows that incremental resistance can make a big impact. Edward R. Murrow could have easily decided not to attack the McCarthy Communism crusade on the news, but his inner sense of right and wrong could not allow him to sit idly by.
5. Hidden Figures
In 2017, it is tough being a woman of color. Granted, it is slightly easier now than it was in the Jim Crow Era and films like Hidden Figures remind us of how women of color had to fight for the rights that contemporary women of color benefit from today. This movie is about three bold women who take a stance and assist the engineering and launch of an American space program. It is funny, uplifting, and climatic, even though we know how it ends.
Harvey Milk was ambitious, forward-thinking, and a fighter. His bravery paved the way for all LGBT elected officials who were tired of hiding in the shadows. This movie depicts Milk's passion about his campaign and constituents after his election...I promised no spoilers so just trust me and watch this film.
7. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Before 2017, I would say that this movie shows the chaotic side of politics. Well, unfortunately, we all know better. This movie shows us that when you know the rules (e.g. how to navigate the American political system), you can use this knowledge to fight back. Jimmy Stewart gives an amazing performance as Senator Smith, who uses allies gained along the way to fight a political machine.
8. Norma Rae
This film depicts how one woman can change the world. Isn’t that a nice thought? Well, we didn’t quite achieve that in 2016, however, Norma Rae will evoke the same sense of pride and fervor that many of us had when we thought about 2016 as the year that the first female President would be elected.
To gain progress always involves struggle. When first watching Selma, it did not happen like I thought it would happen. We all are familiar with Dr. Martin Luther King and his life-changing work for civil rights, but Selma shows how he struggled to bring people together and how every setback affected the progress of the movement, but also King's personal spirit. We know how this ends, but Selma is a great film about the impact of the Civil Rights movement in Alabama.
10. V for Vendetta
2017 has shown us the dark side of humanity, but if we are being honest, we always knew it was there. V for Vendetta is an alternate reality, with a frightening likeness to our current reality. Watching how one person can become an activist, in the most radical of circumstances, is a must watch. We could all use a little bit of her resistance to the oppresive power that takes hold in this
Sometimes the best new political tactics aren’t new at all, but recycled ideas brought forth with new life from our past. I hope this list is as healing to you as it was to me. I want you to watch and enjoy every minute, and hope that you will feel empowered to keep up the fight!