10 Films and TV Shows Global Citizens Should Watch This Weekend
Some will spur you to action, others will warm your soul.
COVID-19 vaccine distribution is picking up, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to hang out with friends and family just yet. The virus is infecting hundreds of thousands of people each day across the globe, and herd immunity is a long way off.
The only way we can overcome the pandemic is if people continue to heed medical advice and governments invest in communities.
As you hunker down for yet another weekend of physical distancing, it might be a good time to fry up some kettle corn, get into some comfy clothes, and scour the streaming services once again for something to watch.
To make things easier, here are 10 relatively new shows and films that Global Citizen recommends.
1. Crack Nation | Netflix
In this powerful documentary, director Stanley Nelson examines the impact of the crack epidemic in the United States and explores how the ensuing government crackdown was fueled by racism. Nelson takes a broad, sociological approach, zooming out to trace historical, cultural, and social forces that collided to create this pivotal moment in US history.
2. Collective | Google Play, Amazon Prime, Youtube
Collective follows a team of journalists who bravely expose corruption in Romania and set in motion a series of events that topple the government. The film is an urgent reminder of how an independent press can hold leaders accountable and expose wrongdoing.
3. For Sama | Amazon Prime
The Syrian civil war has enveloped millions of people in tragedy and strife. What often gets lost amid the wreckage is that people are still carrying out their lives — getting groceries, educating their children, trying to build community. For Sama follows one woman over the course of five years as she navigates the brutal conditions of her home country.
4. Soul | Disney+
From the makers of Inside Out, Soul tells the charming and moving story of one man’s passion for music and the supernatural lengths he’s willing to go to achieve his dreams.
5. Disclosure | Netflix
Since the dawn of Hollywood, transgender people have been mocked and attacked in movies, TV shows, and popular culture, and this diminishing narrative has contributed to real-life violence and discrimination. Disclosure shares the experiences of various trans people in the entertainment industry and academia, the obstacles they’ve had to overcome, the discrimination they’ve faced, and their hopes for the future. The documentary is a tribute to the trans men and women and nonbinary people who have paved the way for a more inclusive and joyful future.
6. One Night in Miami | Amazon Prime
Imagine Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Jim Brown, and Sam Cooke — titans in their respective fields — meeting for a drink. What revolutionary things would they say? What visions of the future would they imagine? What joy would they spark? This film, by Regina King and based on a play by Kemp Powers, seeks to find out.
7. Small Axe | Amazon Prime
Writer and director Steve McQueen set out to make a short television series, but he had so much source material he decided to make an anthology of films. The resulting project is Small Axe, a diverse series of films that feature intimate portraits and sweeping overviews of West Indians living in London in the middle of the 20th century.
8. I May Destroy You | HBO
I May Destroy You is a bracing exploration of sexual violence, consent, power dynamics, intersectional politics, social media, and friendships. If that sounds intense, well, it is. But showrunner Michaela Coel brings a magnetic levity to the series that destabilizes expectations and makes this one of the most unforgettable pieces of art from the past year.
9. How To With John Wilson | HBO
How To With John Wilson is about one person’s unique view of New York and humanity, and all the digressions that entails. It’s absurd and bizarre, profound and bleak, hilarious and charmingly ordinary. This short series is perfect for binging and contemplating what it means to be alive. The last episode is an eerie glimpse of a city unraveling at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
10. Time | Amazon Prime
Most countries have limits on how much time someone convicted of a felony can spend in prison. In the US, no such limits exist and people often end up with devastatingly long sentences. Time follows the entrepreneur Fox Rich as she campaigns to get her husband released from prison after being sentenced to 60 years for a robbery they committed in the late 1990s.