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Films and documentaries about activism

Movies about protest movements
3 min read
Last update: Sep 19, 2023

In this article, you will find a list of movies and documentaries about activism. Do you know any films about activism? Add them to this collection!

Films about climate activism

Films about people-power

  • The Battle of Algiers (1966): A film by Gillo Pontecorvo about the Algerian War (1954-1962), specifically the struggle of Algerian independence movement against the French government in Algiers, the capital city of Algeria. The film, shot in a documentary style, depicts the mass demonstrations, house raids, and torture that occurred during the war.

  • The Weather Underground (2002)

  • Nuit Debout (2016): A documentary about the Nuit Debout ("Up All Night") movement that began in France in 2016.

Films about whistleblowing

  • Citizenfour (2014): A documentary about Edward Snowden disclosing the surveillance programme of the NSA.

  • The Insider (1999): A film about Jeffrey Wigand, a tobacco company executive, who blows the whistle on the tobacco industry.

  • Silkwood (1983): A film about Karen Silkwood, a nuclear facility worker, who blows the whistle on the nuclear industry.

  • The Whistleblower (2010): A film about Kathryn Bolkovac, a United Nations peacekeeper, who exposes the sex trafficking scandal within the UN.

  • The China Syndrome (1979): A film about a fictional nuclear facility, which is based on the real-life Three Mile Island accident.

  • Erin Brockovich (2000): A film about Erin Brockovich, who helps to expose the Pacific Gas and Electric Company's contamination of a city's water supply.

Films about anti-racism movements

  • Selma (2014)

  • Show me democracy: Documentary about the Ferguson protests.

  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015)

  • I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (2011): a documentary film that tells the story of the Black Power Movement through archival footage from the Swedish documentary film crew that shot it. The footage was rediscovered in the early 2000s and edited into this film. The film features interviews with activists and intellectuals such as Stokely Carmichael, Angela Davis, and Eldridge Cleaver.

  • Who's streets? (2017): A documentary about the Ferguson, Missouri uprising that followed the killing of Michael Brown.

  • Fruitvale Station (2013)

  • I am Not Your Negro (2016): A documentary about the life of writer and activist James Baldwin.

Films about lgbtqia+ activists

  • The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson (2017): The film looks at the life and death of African American transgender pioneer Marsha P. Johnson and the police investigation into her death.

  • Stonewall Uprising (2010): A documentary about the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City.

  • Before Stonewall (1984): A documentary about the history of the gay rights movement in the United States.

  • After Stonewall (1999): A documentary about the gay rights movement in the United States since the Stonewall Riots.


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