The 2018 midterm election was akin to a political thriller, keeping us on the edge of our seats wondering if our elected officials were going to kill us this time or not. Thankfully, the midterms ushered in a host of wins for the people. Democrats clinched majority control of the House of Representatives, and more than 100 women were elected into Congress, including Ayanna Pressley, the first Black woman to represent Massachusetts; Jahana Hayes, the first Black woman to represent Connecticut; as well as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Muslim women to serve in the House.
With all of the political drama brewing in the real world, you might be tempted to tune out of politics in entertainment. But these 10 socio-political films will keep fanning your political flame til the next election.
Our fight at the polls is fueled by our ancestors fought for our right to free and fair elections. Ava DuVernay’s 2014 historical drama is the bone-chilling depiction of the revolutionary 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, AL. Led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, these demonstrations of peaceful protest ultimately resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
2) This Little Light of Mine: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer
American voting and women’s rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the most powerful voices and unsung heroines of the civil rights movement. Revisiting this biographical short film about Hamer’s legacy will revitalize the fighting spirit Black women need amid the threats to civil liberties.
On the surface, this layered film is about two friends, Collin (Daveed Diggs) and Miles (Rafael Casal), wrestling with gentrification in their hometown of Oakland, CA. Yet the changing racial and commercial landscape also explores how transplants and police, emboldened by the law, profile and stereotypes Black people, raising the stakes for Black men to deadly heights.
Award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay does an immersive, deep dive into the historical roots of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery. However, this amendment also lawfully maintains modern-day servitude of Black people through mass incarceration. With the help of critics, celebrities, analysts and more, the documentary illuminates how much of the Black population is still crippled by the Constitution today.
5) Get Out
For Black people, nothing is more terrifying than the literal horrors of everyday racism. In Jordan Peele’s 2017 award-season darling, Chris’ (Daniel Kaluuya) visit to his girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) home becomes a literal exploration in gaslighting, dangerous white feminism and how white fear can demonize Blackness. These are all things Black folks face consistently in the current social climate.
6) Sorry to Bother You
Cassius Green (Lakeith Stanfield) navigates the corrupt practices of capitalism, battling the benefits of material wealth and his personal morals. The film mimics the enthusiastic views of capitalism in Trump’s America, which ultimately encourages disparities between classes and threatens access to wealth for people of color.
7) Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed
With the long list of firsts women were able to achieve during the recent midterms, it’s only right to watch a documentary on the first Black woman ever elected to Congress. The film follows Brooklyn-based Congresswoman Shirley’s Chisholm historic run in the 1972 presidential election.