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10 Must-See Movies that Challenge and Inspire


The fall season has officially arrived in Canada! We don our sweaters, sip our pumpkin spice lattes, and cozy down for the steadily darkening days. What better way to spend a fall evening than curled up on the couch watching a movie? 

To help you out, we've picked our top 10 must-see movies just for you! Ranging from heart-warming and inspirational, to thought-provoking and challenging, these films will change your perspective on so many issues. But be warned, they're not all for the faint of heart! We've divided them into two categories to make your choice easier - "heart-warming" and "heart-stopping". Let us know what you think and share your movie suggestions in the comments!

HEART-WARMING

1. The First Grader (2010, PG-13)
If you're in the mood for something truly inspirational - this movie is for you. It's the true story of an 84 year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who is determined to get the education he could never afford. So when the Kenyan government announces free education for all, this resilient grandfather lines up for grade 1. But his revolutionary act stirs up unforeseen controversy. 




2. The Good Lie (2014, PG-13) 
The plight of global refugees has been all over the media in recent years - as it should be! More people are displaced now than ever before in human history. This heart-warming and eye-opening film tells the story of resettlement for a group of Sudanese siblings. Their employment agency counselor (Reese Witherspoon) quickly discovers that resettlement isn't as simple - or fair - as it should be. 




3. On the Way to School (2013)
Every day, around the world, children embark on incredible journeys just to get to school. Some walk for miles. Others scale mountain paths or cross dangerous bridges. Many take boats or ride animals. These daily journeys were the inspiration for the documentary film, On The Way To School. It tells the stories of four children who know that education is the pathway to a brighter future.




4. Living on One Dollar (2013)
An award-winning film, Living on One Dollar follows the journey of four American friends as they set out to live on just $1 a day for two months in rural Guatemala. While the friends quickly learn there are no easy answers, the generosity and strength of Rosa, a 20 year old woman, and Chino, a 12 year old boy, give them resilient hope that they can make a real difference for people living in poverty.




5. The God's Must Be Crazy (1980, PG)
Has it really been 35 years since this movie came out?! This comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects is a hilarious cross-cultural classic. Not only is it a bundle of laughs, but it also poses a poignant critique of the dark side of our western, consumerist society. While not a full trailer, this clip gives you a pretty good idea of what you're in for.



HEART-STOPPING

6. Timbuktu (2014, PG-13)
Since the rise of ISIS to the world stage in 2014, we're more aware of the dangers extremism poses to the common person. This film follows a cattle herder and his family living just outside the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu where an extremist group takes over and enforces their own religious law. Timbuktu is a breathtakingly beautiful vision of the community's struggle against the oppressive new regime. 




7. Gulabi Gang (2014, PG)
Women's rights continues to be a prominent issue on the global stage. This film chronicles a revolution in the making among the poorest of the poor as the fiery women of the Gulabi Gang empower themselves and take up the fight against gender violence, caste oppression, and widespread corruption. If you're looking to get fired up and ready to change the world, this film is right up your alley.




8. Hotel Rwanda (2004, PG-13)
This year, Rwanda observed the 21st anniversary of the ethnically-based genocide that swept the country in the early '90s. This movie portrays the true story of Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees fleeing the horrific violence in the streets. While Rwanda cannot be defined solely by this dark moment in their history, understanding the genocide is key to understanding the country's psyche. 





9. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004, R)
Early in his youth, Che Guevara journeyed through South America on a motorcycle and witnessed firsthand the poverty, hunger, and disease that ravaged the lower classes. This experience set the direction for the rest of his life. Whatever your perspective on the revolutionary Che Guevara, this dramatization of his journey will move you to see poverty and privilege in a new light.




10. The Price of Sugar
The Price of Sugar follows a charismatic Spanish priest, Father Christopher Hartley, as he organizes some of the western hemisphere's poorest people, challenging the powerful interests profiting from their work. This film raises key questions about where the products we consume originate, at what human cost they are produced and ultimately, where our responsibility lies.




10 Must-See Movies that Challenge and Inspire Reviewed by Eryn on 4:16 PM Rating: 5
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