Here are some inspirational movies I think you could consider watching.
I stress these are movies that I like and rate. I tend to like movies that are more down to earth, less Hollywood and more relevant to the life I lead. I especially like movies based on real life, which celebrate the pursuit of a goal by real people in real situations.
For what they are worth - here are the movies I have walked out with a tingling sensation down my spine and a rekindled fire in my belly.
- Hotel Rwanda: The true story of a hotel manager who saved the lives of 1,200 people in 1994 when a million Tutsi tribe members were massacred by members of the Hutu tribe. Paul Rusesabagina isn’t your classic Hollywood hero, but he is a hero nevertheless. A mesmerising film which shows how a normal hotel manager can find the inner strength and courage to stand tall in what must have seemed an impossible situation.
- The Help: Set during the American civil rights movement of the 1960s a “society girl” Skeeter becomes a writer and decides to write about the black women taking care of prominent white families. Its incredible to think that attitudes like this existed at this time (I was born in the 60s). The courage of these women to come forward and tell their stories with humility and humour is what makes this movie amazing for me. I just loved it.
- Erin Brokovich: Regardless of the fact I have an absolute love of Julia Roberts, this movie is just brilliant. It’s the story of a tenacious young lawyer, struggling as a single mother, standing up for the rights of a community affected by pollution from a local power company. The movie is as much about the deep bonds forged between Erin and local families as getting the right result in the end. Almost made me want to become a lawyer . . .
- Schindlers List: There have been a lot of movies about selfless acts of heroism in the Second World War. But Schindlers List sits at the top of the pile for me. Oskar Schindler was a German businessman who saved the lives of more than a thousand Jewish refugees, during the horror of the Holocaust, by employing them in his factories. At the end of the movie we meet some of the real life descendants of the Jews on Schindler’s list – I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.
- Intouchables: A movie about a growing friendship between wealthy businessman and quadriplegic Philippe and his carer Driss. Philippe has a lust for life, which must be the envy of most able-bodied people. Driss has a criminal record and doesn’t believe he can do the job of a carer, and it is his unconventional methods, which light up Phillip’s life. Both men help the other – and the ending is wonderful. When it was released in 2011 this film quickly became the second biggest box office hit ever in France.
- Ghandi: A movie about one remarkable man, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the leader of India’s non-violence independence movement against British rule of India during the first part of the twentieth century. The campaign generated enough pressure on Britain to final grant Indian independence after World War 2. One great quote from the movie . . . “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it. Always”.
- The Blind Side: This movie is about an incredible woman, Leigh Anne Tuohy, who invites a troubled teenager, Michael Oher, into her family home and eventually becomes Michael’s legal guardian. Leigh Anne helps Michael through college and eventually become an American football player. Sandra Bullock won the Academy Award for best actress in this film.
- Dead Poets Society: Robin Williams plays the role of John Keating who teaches at Welton Academy, an elite boarding school for boys. Keating uses unusual teaching methods to inspire the boys through poetry. He tells them to “make your lives extraordinary” and uses the Latin expression carpe diem – seize the day. The tragic death of a student prompts the school to fire Keating. However the amazing last scene demonstrates how those boys’ lives have been touched forever by this extraordinary man.
- Patch Adams: Another Robin Williams movie about a truly unconventional doctor who uses humour and compassion to car for patients. He turns an old cottage into a clinic, while still at medical school, and treats those without medical insurance to a cocktail of care and laughter. When the medical school finds out and tries to expel him he argues about the need to treat people’s “spirit” as well as the body. It all ends well of course.
- The First Grader: When free primary school education is announced by the Kenyan government, they couldn’t have imagined an 84 year old ex Mau Mau freedom fighter, Kimani Maruge, would turn up at his local school. The story becomes front-page news, prompting the Education Board to over rule the passionate school principal Jane Obinchu. She successfully however allows Maruge to return as her teaching assistant. A film about real courage and perseverance. Absolutely heart warming.