360 Essentials: Inspiring Revolutionary Films
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.
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.