Recommendations

As requested, here are some novels and films that I have found inspirational.

NOVELS THAT ARE ACTUALLY ABOUT SOMETHING

Charles Dickens – OLIVER TWIST
Khaled Hosseini – THE KITE RUNNER
Khaled Hosseini – A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS
Ralph Ellison – INVISIBLE MAN
Harper Lee – TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD
John Irving – THE CIDER HOUSE RULES
Alice Walker – THE COLOR PURPLE
Ken Kesey – ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST
Hilary Mantel – EIGHT MONTHS ON GAZA STREET
Charles Kingsley – THE WATER BABIES
Chinua Achebe – THINGS FALL APART
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche – PURPLE HIBISCUS
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche – HALF A YELLOW SUN
Barbara Kingsolver – THE POISONWOOD BIBLE
Tom Sharpe – RIOTOUS ASSEMBLY
Allan Furst – all his novels are about fascism in the run up to World War Two

FILMS THAT INFORM, EDUCATE AND INSPIRE

12 ANGRY MEN (Henry Fonda version)  - the justice system and racism
TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD – racism
MISSING – US support for Chilean dictatorship
THE CHINA SYNDROME – the nuclear industry
GENTLEMEN’S AGREEMENT – racism/anti-Semitism
THE CIDER HOUSE RULES – abortion
SYRIANA – US diplomacy in the Middle East
THREE KINGS – the first Gulf War
GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK – McCarthy era politics
THE FRONT – McCarthy era politics
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST – mental health
M*A*S*H* – the film and the TV series, about Korean War but implicitly about Vietnam
DEAD MAN WALKING – the death penalty
HOTEL RWANDA – the Rwandan genocide
LORD OF WAR  - the arms trade
BLOOD DIAMOND – illegal resource mining in Africa
CASABLANCA – military intervention/fascism
CRY FREEDOM – Apartheid
VERA DRAKE –abortion
PATHS OF GLORY – militarism
THE CANDIDATE – political corruption
THE DAY OF THE DOLPHIN – animal rights/power of the military
THE BALIBO FIVE – journalists report on the dictatorship in East Timor
UNDER FIRE – journalists report on the Nicaraguan dictatorship
ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN – Watergate political scandal
LAND AND FREEDOM – Spanish civil war
THE BATTLE OF ALGIERS – French colonial occupation of Algeria
MICHAEL COLLINS – Irish civil war
THE WIND THAT SHAKES THE BARLEY – Irish civil war
IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER – miscarriage of justice
THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY – journalists report on Indonesian dictatorship
SALVADOR – journalists report on dictatorship in El Salvador
ROMERO – campaigning bishop in El Salvador
MISSISSIPPI BURNING – racism
NORMA RAE – the struggle for labor unions
DR STRANGELOVE – nuclear weapons
WAG THE DOG – going to war for domestic political reasons
ENEMY OF THE STATE – the power of the security services
MATEWAN –  the struggle for labor unions
SILKWOOD – the nuclear industry
OSAMA – the position of girls and women in Afghanistan

 

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