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By : manish kumar, SEO | Web-cms Developer | FreeTips-- shoot me an email | Mobile SEO | Do more than Just !
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Whether you are looking for a movie to support a lesson you've been teaching or a book your class has read, or if you would like to offer a reward for hard work well done, these movies offer education, inspiration, entertainment, and sometimes, even a warning. Most of these films are appropriate for high school and college-aged students, but some are even great for the younger set. Be sure to preview them yourself if you have concerns about content.

History and Social Studies

There is plenty of inspiration to be found in these stories, some fictional and some true, that depict historical events or people.

  1. Schindler's List. This story tells the heroic effort made by a businessman in Nazi Germany to save thousands of Jews from death.
  2. Gandhi. This biography tells the story of the famed leader of India, from his beginnings as a lawyer to his eventual embracing of non-violent protest to his assassination.
  3. The Duellists. Based on a story written by Joseph Conrad, The Duellists explores fencing as a means to induce justice and honor.
  4. The Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck's classic novel about life during the Great Depression is brought to life in this film, which has also reached classic status.
  5. Philadelphia. A lawyer fired from his firm because he has AIDS fights for his rights in this film.
  6. Mississippi Burning. Two FBI agents arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of civil rights activists and each uses their own approach to uncover the atrocities occurring.
  7. The Color Purple. Based on Alice Walker's book, this film details the life and struggles of an African-American woman in early 1900s America.
  8. Hotel Rwanda. This film tells the story of real hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina, who saved thousands of refugees fleeing the dangerous militia that had taken over Rwanda.
  9. The Fog of War. Former Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara shares lessons he learned about modern warfare.

Survival

These stories of survival serve as an inspiration to any viewer and work well with almost any lesson plan.

  1. Into the Wild. A free-spirited young man heads off into the Alaska wilderness to try his hand at survival with devastating results.
  2. Alive. This movie tells the true story of a rugby team from Uruguay that must survive in the Andes mountains after a plane crash.
  3. Touching the Void. This true story follows two climbers as they scale Siula Grande in Peru, the disaster that occurs, and how the two survive.
  4. Swiss Family Robinson. Based on the novel by Johann David Wyss, this film tells of a Swiss family deserted on an island and their journey to learn to survive.
  5. Cast Away. A white-collar executive must learn to survive when he finds himself alone on a deserted island after a plane crash.
  6. The Blue Lagoon. Two children are shipwrecked on an island and grow up together. Be aware this film does contain nudity.

Health and Environment

Show your students these films to inspire them to learn about responsible care for their bodies and the environment.

  1. Super Size Me. See what happens when one man lives on only McDonald's food for 30 days. You may be shocked to learn what a fast food diet does to your body.
  2. Erin Brockovich. Based on a true story, this film is about an ordinary woman who takes up a cause when she learns about dangerous pollution in the water.
  3. WALL-E. This touching animated film envisions a future that could be where modern culture takes itself without restraint.
  4. Earth Days. This documentary takes a look at the modern environmental movement through nine individuals who helped bring the issue into the public eye starting as far back as the 1950s.
  5. Food, Inc. The corporate culture that has taken over the food industry has created something far from healthy. This documentary has gotten lots of press recently.
  6. The Future of Food. Take a look at what is really in the food found on grocery store shelves in this eye-opening film.
  7. Be the Change. This documentary looks at people who have made the choice to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
  8. Hoot. A young man starts a fight to protect the owls whose habitat is threatened in his newfound home in Florida.
  9. Shooting Vegetarians. A young vegetarian is forced to go into his father's business as a butcher and finds a strange way to exact his revenge for it in this quirky movie.
  10. Up. This animated film deals with issues of urban sprawl, ecology, and responsible stewardship in the midst of a touching story about unexpected friendships.
  11. The Cove. This documentary takes a look at both the massive slaughter of dolphins that occurs annually in a small Japanese fishing village and the dangerous health impact of mercury poisoning.
  12. Silkwood. Based on a true story, this movie recounts the story of Karen Silkwood, an employee at a nuclear processing plant who blew the whistle on worker safety issues going unchecked at the plant.
  13. Gorillas in the Mist. Another film based on a true story, this one focuses on the work of Dian Fossey as she lived with and studied the mountain gorillas in Rwanda. After fighting against the illegal poaching of the gorillas, she was mysteriously murdered.

English

Bringing literature to life through film is an excellent way to inspire students to appreciate what they are reading.

  1. Romeo + Juliet. This popular film retells the Shakespeare classic and is a great way to bring the drama to life.
  2. Master Harold and the Boys. This drama written by South African Athol Fugard tells a semi-autobiographical story of a teenage boy and his relationship with a black man in the era of apartheid. A new version of this movie is set to be released this year.
  3. Fahrenheit 451. A firefighter meant to burn all books begins reading a few of them and his eyes are opened to a new perspective.
  4. Wuthering Heights. Emily Bronte's novel comes to life in this film version.
  5. Macbeth. Like Romeo + Juliet, this film offers a modern version of the Shakespearean classic.
  6. A Streetcar Named Desire. This adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play is an excellent version to show your class.
  7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A popular choice in college-level English classes, this movie is not only filled with classic British humor, but also provides examples of the idea of the literary quest, allusions to the legend of King Arthur, and more.
  8. Dead Poets Society. This film provides a great chance to study the poetry mentioned within as well as show an inspirational film to your students.
  9. Freedom Writers. A high school teacher inspires her students to reach beyond their tough lives through writing.

Music

If your music class could use a burst of song and inspiration, try these movies.

  1. The Sound of Music. This famous and much-loved film about the Von Trapp family is a must-see.
  2. Woodstock. As much about history as it is music, this film chronicles the famous 1969 festival.
  3. Almost Famous. Following a rising rock band, a young man in high school writes a story for Rolling Stone Magazine on the band.
  4. West Side Story. The Jets and the Sharks are gangs at odds, but when a member of the Jets falls for the sister of the leader of the Sharks, the story really takes off.
  5. The Phantom of the Opera. Share this beloved story of a disfigured musician who lives hidden in the Paris opera house and his desire for a young woman.

Science and Technology

From a view of insects in their natural environments to a look at the beginnings to two major computer companies to fictional accounts of science and technology in action, these movies have it all.

  1. Microcosmos. This French film shows close-ups of insect life in their natural habitats.
  2. Manhattan Project. When a high school science project becomes larger than expected, chaos ensues.
  3. Pirates of Silicon Valley. This film provides a biographical peek into the early days of Microsoft and Apple and their founders.
  4. Project X. When a new recruit to the military is assigned to look after the chimpanzees in Project X, the military gets more than they bargained for.
  5. TRON. A hacker trying to prove that several computer programs were stolen gets transported into a computer, where he fights evil forces in an effort to replace them with a system security program.
  6. Antitrust. A computer whiz becomes unintentionally embroiled in a dangerous company.
  7. WarGames. When a young man accidentally hacks into the US government's computer system, where he is invited to play a game that is actually initiating World War 3.
  8. Jurassic Park. Dinosaurs are brought back to life with dangerous consequences.
 Top Comment : kanukurthy sudershanrao   | 10 23 2011 16:28:40 +0000
r u teaching indian students or foreign students
 
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32 comments on "50 Inspiring Films You Should Show Your Students"
  Commented by  Deepti Kulkarni, HR Manager, Con-Air Equipments Pvt Ltd    | 03 17 2012 09:13:09 +0000
thanks a tun..............its awesome........n for a movie freak like me...adding them to my must watch list...though have seen few of them already...

  Commented by  Muskaan Mulchandani, Faculty, Core Business School    | 11 09 2011 05:44:24 +0000
Rating : +1 
Hey!! Y the mayhem over the "LIST"?????? I think we can adopt a more positive approach and add a few from our own list too!!!!!!!!!!!! Neways ,Good Job Manish!! Really appreciate it!!!
  Commented by  ASHU SHARMA, Owner, VANDHANA PUBLICATIONS    | 11 08 2011 04:27:16 +0000
U DIDN'T INCLUDED ROCKY,PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS.
  Commented by  Ardhendu Pal, Upgrading Knowledge Base, Researching in Computer Software/Hardware    | 11 03 2011 14:45:59 +0000
Mr. Murthy Sir.
I wasn't countering you at all and I clearly know it very well how much you you support my views. Actually in true sense I was just elaborating my point previously made, by putting forward our present societal psychology.
Moreover I am really sorry if anywhere that statement have hurt the sentiments anyhow. My sincere apologies if that pinched.
  Commented by  Ardhendu Pal, Upgrading Knowledge Base, Researching in Computer Software/Hardware    | 11 03 2011 13:32:19 +0000
Mr. Murthy Sir.
I wasn't countering you at all and I clearly know it very well how much you you support my views. Actually in true sense I was just elaborating my point previously made, by putting forward our present societal psychology.
Moreover I am really sorry if anywhere that statement have hurt the sentiments anyhow. My sincere apologies if that pinched.
  Commented by  Suryanarayan Murthy, Asst Vice President (Corporate Finance), A Hydro Power Project    | 11 03 2011 04:13:12 +0000
Rating : +1 
Ardhendu saheb, I never criicised you.. I appreciated your views !
  Commented by  Ardhendu Pal, Upgrading Knowledge Base, Researching in Computer Software/Hardware    | 11 02 2011 13:59:16 +0000
Mr Murthy Sir, It's not my hobby to oppose but rather my duty to support what great things we have in our own country, but we seldom value those.
I remember a story told by our English teacher at my school that had a moral "In foreign country even a 5 year old is well educated"

Moreover nowadays we value pizzas more than our Masala Dhosa  whereas irrespective of the fact of health factor, this may seem like beating around the bush but the moral of this paragraph is we are adoring western culture and destroying our own culture.
For an example take a survey of our schools and colleges and you will find that almost every people may know or even remember the songs of Britney Spears, Jackson, Bryan Adams, Backstreet Boys, David Guetta or alike, but almost 70% of them will not be remembering the correct chanting of Gayatri Mantra and out of those around 60% will deny of remembrance of this powerful mantra.
Well it may seem awkward that after this long gap of around two months I am ready to defend myself and Indian Pride once more but this is a fact which, I thought may help our countrymen to realize and analyse things. It's now or never.
  Commented by  Isaac Madhavan, IT / Technical Writer, IT major    | 11 02 2011 13:53:00 +0000
Rating : +1 
Any documentary on how the Japanese nation handled the aftermath of a devastating earthquake.

We need to learn - all the time - that's the secret of staying young. This forces the brain to keep building connections and remaining active. 

What does it matter where you learn from? Indian or non-Indian, does it really make a difference? Whether a thing is good for a person or bad for a person, does it really matter WHICH COUNTRY it is from? :) 

Obviously, what is important here is the content of the films being recommended. Is it really suitable? On what basis would you say that it is suitable or unsuitable? These are the important questions.
  Commented by  Isaac Madhavan, IT / Technical Writer, IT major    | 11 02 2011 13:21:49 +0000
Rating : +1 
The "Pirates of Silicon Valley" has much significance these days, especially because we need "pirates" in India to take advantage of Open Source and really explode the number of possibilities.

Good list Manish.
  Commented by  Suryanarayan Murthy, Asst Vice President (Corporate Finance), A Hydro Power Project    | 11 02 2011 12:06:01 +0000
Rating : +1 
Manish, It is easy to criticise but difficult to appreciate. Learn from others' comments and never retort ! You learn a lot by observing !!
  Commented by  srirang gollerkeri, Senior Recruitment Specialist with AimPlus Staffing Solutions    | 11 02 2011 09:25:26 +0000
having gone thro the list, i feel tat indian movies should also have been given a place cos a lot of good indian movies r also worth watching.
@ manish: gandhi cannot be classfied as bollywood movie cos it was directed by an american. u cannot call a movie bollywood just cos it has indian actors. the truth remains tat its a hollywood movie
  Commented by  http://www.CEOBusinessManagement.com:, Business Consultant, Business Management Specialist & Strategic Planner    | 10 31 2011 22:59:15 +0000
Rating : +1 
Good list and very informative.
  Commented by  Muhammed jabir rifai, Graduate in Mechanical Engineering    | 10 31 2011 16:08:24 +0000
Rating : +1 
Great effort Manish. I wish one more movie on the list
'Madadayo'
  Commented by  SHRIKANT MANOHAR DANKE, Project Manager, Phadnis Infrastructur Ltd    | 10 31 2011 12:15:52 +0000
Rating : +1 
Good sharing,for those who are into communication industry, Manish
  Commented by  SHRIKANT MANOHAR DANKE, Project Manager, Phadnis Infrastructur Ltd    | 10 31 2011 12:15:37 +0000
Rating : +1 
Good sharing,for those who are into communication industry, Manish
  Commented by  Rathin Deb, Freelance Retail Consultant    | 10 31 2011 04:33:02 +0000
Rating : +1 
Thanks Joydeep for referral.In my opinion the list seems to be good.There are various other movies not mentioned which were classics of yesteryear s like Guns of Navarone, Blue Max, Dirty Dozens etc. 
  Commented by  K. NARAYAN, None, None    | 10 31 2011 03:02:00 +0000
I think the most disappointing aspect of this list is not that it ignores movies made in India ; it ignores movies made outside Hollywood !

There are several greats of cinema whose films don't figure here ; anyone who is interested in understanding life itself should see movies of these greats :

Vittorio de Sica ( Italy )
Sergei Eisenstein ( USSR )
Akira Kurosawa ( Japan )
Ingmar Bergman ( Sweden )

Nowadays , films made in countries like Iran are also exceptional. Even Indian directors some of whose movies ( Adoor Gopalakrishnan for instance ) are among the best , are not represented.



  Commented by  Raju V P, Senior Manager, an International Bank    | 10 30 2011 19:59:14 +0000
Rating : +3 
Good work, Manish.  I am not able to understand the basis of objections of others here.  I dont think Manish has said anywhere here that these are the ONLY films which should be shown to the students.  Please go ahead and add to the list and make it more complete.  But dont discourage the knowledge sharing.  Supplement the efforts of others without finding faults.
  Commented by  Joydeep Dasgupta, Business Development, New Horizon    | 10 30 2011 18:15:44 +0000
Rating : +1 
Is communication skill dependent on language? It’s how sophisticated ones thought process ones consciousness, ability and stability to interact with another individual or a group of individuals. 

Dear Manish do not use word like “fight” sounds Kommunist. If possible please drop it from your vocabulary forever.  The universe operates more precisely then the most precise watch ever designed by man!! You don’t have to fight….
  Commented by  manish kumar, SEO | Web-cms Developer | FreeTips-- shoot me an email | Mobile SEO | Do more than Just !    | 10 29 2011 15:51:05 +0000
above listed movies will boost their Communication skills :)
  Commented by  manish kumar, SEO | Web-cms Developer | FreeTips-- shoot me an email | Mobile SEO | Do more than Just !    | 10 29 2011 15:45:34 +0000
Rating : +1 
@Rajiv azad sir: R u ok, i don't think so. anyway thanks for the a manner less comments. Everyone have rite to comment anything, but u shouldn't point out on any individual toostep member, somedays b4 some fake profiles were bad commenting on suryanaranmurthy sir & others :( 
I am surprised  that you are working for US clients in US IT MNC :) It was Ur point "How can u ignore our country" , now plz tell what did u share genuine things for young generation on toostep.
Any way in too short , i have given this post for our young generation for their Global Competition, bcz they have to fight with Global:) have u seen the Gandhi movie in list, that's an Indian:) I feel our most 90% students have seen the movie like 3idiots, taare zameen per , chak de india etc; but the above list can not be ignore bcz they watch Bollywood movies already:)
yes,they don't see our history like Mahabharata, kuran or Ramayana etc; that could have been include here:) I agreed:)
and these movies will boost their Communication skills :) 

If i am wrong than i am available for any debate here:)

  Commented by  manish kumar, SEO | Web-cms Developer | FreeTips-- shoot me an email | Mobile SEO | Do more than Just !    | 10 29 2011 15:27:36 +0000
Thank you Tanima ma'am, Prithvi sir & A.pal sir----I agree with u:)
Thank you Suryanarayan murthy sir, Shashi sir and Srinivas sir:)
Thank you Ujjawal sir:)
@ Kanukurthy sir: thanks for the comment, I am giving some facts to our Global students, it's not Indian or foreign :) 
  Commented by  Rajiv Azad (Common Man with Uncommon dreams), Strategic Communications, Leading US IT MNC, Hyderabad    | 10 27 2011 06:47:35 +0000
Tanima at times I believe you accept things with blind eyes. Keep your eyes open. Don't utter things to impress others, be your own self. This whole list is bias and smitten by foreign culture...I hate this.......       
  Commented by  Rajiv Azad (Common Man with Uncommon dreams), Strategic Communications, Leading US IT MNC, Hyderabad    | 10 27 2011 06:44:28 +0000
Dear Manish, your efforts are commendable. However, you seem to be smitten by world of English movies. What an irony, not even a single movie from Bollywood or Tollywood has featured in your list. Its disgusting and ridiculous. How can you ignore star of the millennium, Amitabh Bacchan or Mr Perfectionist, Aamir Khan. Go and see 3 Idiots or Sholay or Agneepath or Rang De Basanti or Shaheed and realize the might of Indian movies...........Manish your efforts are bias. How can you ignore your own country?                 
  Commented by  ujjval jain, Retail, Retail    | 10 24 2011 08:12:01 +0000
Rating : +1 
Thanks Mr Manish....your lists are quite helpful....
  Commented by  Srinivas suravajhala, Asst. Manager.    | 10 24 2011 07:30:17 +0000
Rating : +2 
Gr8. Mr. Manish.  Well classified.  Wonderful effort.  I dont know many of the names of these films.  Mr. Ardhendu views are also required to be given due respect.  I thank you all here.
  Commented by  Suryanarayan Murthy, Asst Vice President (Corporate Finance), A Hydro Power Project    | 10 24 2011 06:43:54 +0000
Rating : +2 
Dear Manish, I appreciate your efforts for sharing a good article ! Also I agree with the views expressed by Ardhendu, the ever rebel !! 
  Commented by  Shashi Kumar U, Manager accounts & commercial, Mazda Concrete Products Pvt Ltd    | 10 24 2011 05:35:37 +0000
Rating : +1 
Very interesting, you have done good research. One movie that stands out according to me is Gandhi. Because it is the Gandhian principles that is the need of the hour.
  Commented by  Ardhendu Pal, Upgrading Knowledge Base, Researching in Computer Software/Hardware    | 10 23 2011 19:42:23 +0000
Rating : +2 
I have a firm objection.

Today's students must be taught Mahabharata, Ramayana, Vedas, Shashtras, so that they may learn how to respect their elders and seniors.
These all movies are just fake and untrue because it depicts the untrue version of narration.
Not only in India but worldwide there must be the proper teaching of these pious texts.
  Commented by  kanukurthy sudershanrao, Operations Manager, Andhra Bank    | 10 23 2011 16:28:40 +0000
Rating : +1 
r u teaching indian students or foreign students
  Commented by  PRITHVI RAJ DUBEY, Managing Director, RAJ ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES PVT LTD    | 10 23 2011 15:41:39 +0000
Rating : 0 
Thanks Manish, For youngsters and Indian culture atleast two more movies I like to suggest: 1- Jagriti (hum laaye hain toofan se kishti nikaal ke FAME) AND School Master. Though old but gold.Manish ! you are working as guide and PATH FINDER TO MANY.
  Commented by  Tanima, First Medical Services Pvt. Ltd.    | 10 23 2011 14:28:16 +0000
Rating : +2 
Very Interesting Insight this time also. Thanks for sharing with us.
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