John Lennon, anyone? When we think of the word revolution, this famous peaceful protest anthem might be the first thing that comes to mind. The worldwide counterculture revolutions in the 1960s laid down groundwork for revolutionaries and inspired the Beatles’ most influential period. Political activism through film and music has been thriving ever since.
Here are a few of our favourite revolutionary films that are not only filled with historical insight, but can also be sources of inspiration for those of you truly wanting to make a change. Peaceful or not, these revolution gems are must-sees.
Badder Meinhof Complex (2008): Directed by James McTeigue, this film dives into the courageous depths of the Red Army Faction (RAF), an anarchist group that rose up in Germany in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. The RAF stopped at nothing and believed in their cause until their dying breath. This biography keeps you on the edge of your seat and questions the nature of violence in a completely new way. Their personal relationships unfold throughout the plot, making this biography intimate at large.
Battle of Algiers (1966): Everyday heroes are brought to light in this stunning drama by Gillo Pontecorvo. Taking place in Algiers and accounting for one of the most brutal revolutions in modern times, the Algerian government commissioned the direction of this film in attempt to show the revolt from both sides. The view brought forth by this film reminds us of the ugliness of war while questioning violence and its use to bring about radical change.
V for Vendetta (2006): 'Remember; remember the fifth of November,' V says as he takes us into the future of Britain’s fascism. His revolutionary tasks are powerful, creative and intelligent. V and Evey (Natalie Portman) attempt to bring an end to the atrocities committed by those running the totalitarian show. The message is clear and before too long, you’ll realize the quotes that have come to light in recent days. Get ready to be moved.
Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst (2006): A rather slow-paced documentary, the film focuses on the sensationalist news story stemming from 1974 when newspaper heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped and held at ransom by the Symboniese Liberation Army. Hearst was later caught participating in bank robbery with the movement. Was she brainwashed by the movement or did she commit her crimes willingly?
Che (2008): Che Guevara has been on many people’s minds lately at some point or another. This beautiful biopic describes the life of one of the most loved revolutionaries of all times. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro, the film is over four hours long and covers the Cuban revolution until the attempted revolution in Bolivia years later. This is an intellectual must-see For history fans.