Homosexuality, precariousness, environment… Committed cinema. Credit: iStock.
Cinema speaks of reality, and in particular of the major questions that agitate societies. Racism, homosexuality, precariousness… These are themes addressed on the big screen. Here is a personal list, and of course not exhaustive, of films that can give grain to grind to your commitments.
- Precariousness: Me, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach (2016)
If it were necessary to cite a single name of committed filmmaker, no one would be surprised by the evocation of Ken Loach. The Briton, through his cinema, films the working classes, stages the process of domination and has recently taken an interest in uberization. In 2016 he received the Palme d’Or at Cannes for his film I, Daniel Blake. The film focuses on the eponymous character, a 59-year-old widower, disabled after a heart attack. Faced with a Kafkaesque administration, he will find it difficult to obtain compensation and experience a real descent into hell. A portrait of the galley, but also of the mutual aid and altruism that exist within this popular class. A direct film, from an angry and committed director.
- Racism: Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989)
Eminently political film on the condition of African-Americans in the United States, and the question of ethnic cohabitation. In 1989, Spike Lee came out Do the Right Thing and presents it at Cannes in the official selection. In a Brooklyn suffocated by the heat wave, we will follow the day of Mookie, an Afro-American pizza delivery man. Gradually, racial tensions will rise in this small village populated by Italian Americans, Koreans, Puerto Ricans and African Americans. Suffocating atmosphere, but above all an impressive range of themes. Masterpiece.
- Transidentity: Girl by Lukas Dhont (2018)
How complex is it to deal with this question of transidentity in the cinema! Almodovar or Dolan tried their hand at it successfully… But also the very young Lukas Dhont with his first film Girl. The Belgian features Lara, a young transgender girlwho dreams of becoming a prima ballerina. A film which is interested in the body, whether it is in motion during dance lessons, but also during the process of sex change that Lara experiences in parallel. The commitment goes through a soft camera, and at the height of the character.
- Abortion: The Audrey Diwan Event (2021)
The current period praises the very committed author Annie Ernaux. To crown the writer of defectors and feminism: a recent Nobel Prize for Literature and two films adapted from his novels. Among them, The Event by Audrey Diwan released in 2021. It took talent to tackle the incredible work of Annie Ernaux. Successful bet ! Audrey Diwan stages Anne, a student who becomes pregnant in the 1960s. She chooses abortion, then prohibited by law, and finds herself alone to face this event. A difficult film, very political and necessary in a period when this right is called into question in certain countries. A cinematographic success crowned by a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival.
- Ecology: Green Sun by Richard Fleischer (1973)
One of the first films on ecology. In 1973, the American science fiction film sun wormt. In a fictional New York in 2022, the world is dying because of human overuse of resources. In this overpopulated and poor society, the company Soylent offers a food called “Green Sun” to the poorest individuals. A detective and a professor will investigate this suspicious firm. A shock film at the time, and still today on ecology, but also consumerism. The film is also interested in environmental amnesia, that is to say the forgetting of nature as it was before. To see or see again!
- Homosexuality: La Belle Saison by Catherine Corsini (2015)
Few films talk about the love between two women. In 2015, Catherine Corsini released The Beautiful Season with Cécile de France and Izïa Higelin. Delphine grew up in a peasant environment and moved to Paris with the aim of emancipation. Carole lives in Paris and evolves in feminist and progressive circles. In the France of the 70s and its taboos, a love will be born. A beautiful film navigating between Parisian student circles and the rural society of the time.
- The Neighborhoods: The City of God by Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles (2002)
Brazil is a great country of cinema, but also a country exhausted by many social fractures. From this context was born The City of God, released in 2003. This film, rather violent it must be said, takes place in the 1960s in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Rocket, black child, dreams of becoming a photographer. He will bear witness to the violence, gangs and drugs that are ubiquitous in the neighborhood. A child’s look, especially on his friends who, unlike him, are drawn into the infernal machine. A film that is both hard, but tinged with hope.
- The Peasant Condition: Little Peasant by Hubert Charuel (2017)
Hubert Charuel inaugurates a new genre: the peasant thriller. Released in 2017, this uplifting film features Pierre, a dairy cow breeder. An epidemic is discovered in France and affects one of the breeder’s animals. If this is discovered, the health authorities will cull the entire herd. He will therefore do everything to hide this infection, even if it means taking significant risks. A breathtaking film on the peasant condition in present-day France, between insecurity, loneliness and anger. Swann Arlaud and Sara Giraudeau are very convincing there. Fiction as a mirror of today’s society!
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8 socially committed films (and of very good quality!) | Care news INFO