Many talented director have always tried to make a film which is more than just entertainment, for instance Haifaa Al Mansour – a Saudi first film maker said in an interview about her film Wajda “an art can touch people and make them open up”, that apart from filling the seats of theatre, a film maker should always strive to achieve a hidden message which can change society.
The following films have been hugely influential, raising awareness and bringing change to society:
1-A girl in the river.
This film was directed by Oscar winning director and young global leader Sharmeen obaid-Chinoy, which tells the story of San Quaiser.
A young woman named Saba Quaiser who survives an attempted murder by the hand of her father, her only fault was falling in love with a person her family did not approve of.
After marrying this person, her father was overcome with guilt. At first he didn’t realize his mistake, he believed that it is his duty as a father to protect his family from dishonour.
This movie was so powerful that it impacted Pakistani society and their tradition of honour killing; as the Pakistan prime minister said He will change the law of honour killing after watching this film.
2- Cathy come home.
Cathy come home was released in 1996 and it influentially reflected on the worldwide issue of homelessness. After watching the movie, it raised significant awareness. UK’s first leading charity on homelessness, “shelter” was founded as a result of this movie. Even today, people cite this movie as a reminder for this serious issue facing all of us.
If you take a survey of your society, including educated people, about the myth and facts of AIDS, you may be surprised by the results. Misconception surrounding aids both then and today are still prevalent.
A 1985 poll in the US found that around 50% of people felt that HIV+ people should be kept in a separate quarantines while 15% felt that they should be identified with tattoos.
“Philadelphia” starring Tom Hanks was released in 1993, and helped rectify common misconceptions about aids, while simultaneously helping the gay community by exposing their plight and struggle to the rest of the world.
This movie shows the life of a gay lawyer who is suffering from AIDS. He was fired from his office after discovering he had AIDS. Before this film, aids was mostly a taboo subject. HIV advocate Gary Bell said that this film made people discussing aids an open forum.
This was the first film ever about aids and larger issues such as homophobia.
4- Super size me.
Before directing this movie, the director Morgan Spurlock ate only fast food for a month. At the end of this movie after 30 days he gained 25 pounds, he found he had a massive increase an increase in cholesterol level, and the doctor said that he had a liver of an alcoholic.
Super size me is a documentary movie which created a stir about the fast food industry. It exposed how bad fast food is for health to how it is marketed to children.
After the release of this movie McDonald’s transformed its super size menu options to healthier food items in its menu, though McDonalds denies that it was in response to the film.
5- The Thin Blue Line.
Released in 1988, this film tells the story of RANDELL DELL ADAM, a man who was wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of a Dallas police officer. After extensive research and observing society, the director Errol Morris raised awareness for people who were wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit.