Netflix Movies and Series that Teach a Lil’ Something

Lately, with so much time to kill, Netflix has become both my friend and my enemy. The streaming service is after all one of the very few outlets I have left. After using it for so long, however, it’s become a bit boring—or rather too boring. It’s like when you eat too much of the same thing--even if it is your favorite-- and it slowly loses its appeal. So now, here I am, feeling incredibly jaded.

However, there lies hope. In the past few days, I’ve had the fortune of not only finding content that has cured my boredom (for a little while at least) but content that has also taught me something! Seriously, I’ve probably learned a lot more this last week than I have in...well since probably school existed. The issues portrayed on the big (little) screen of my laptop revealed harsh realities I didn’t realize existed. I hope for everyone else to also be able to learn a thing or two from the films below because with too many voices silenced, hearing their stories matter. If we can learn, we can do better.

Without further ado, here are some recommendations that’ll hopefully teach a lil’ something!

  1. 1. Adú

    This Spanish movie offers viewers a look into three lives in Africa, all connected through their differing realities: A young Cameroonian boy and his sister try to find their way out of their country into Europe, a father part of a wildlife charity tries to save the elephants whilst also trying to mend the broken relationship he has with his daughter, a Spanish border guard entangles himself in a situation that will challenge his morals. Each of these characters has their own part to play in figuring out their lives but it all comes down to the little Cameroonian boy who’s trying to do nothing more than find a better future in a world of cruel people and a broken government.  

  2. 2. Stateless

    This mini-series takes  a deeper look into the Australian immigration system, revealing its issues through the tales of four interconnected characters. The problems they all face lead them to come together, as one of the main character’s past is slowly revealed and the others are faced with difficult decisions that look to have no end. This series taught me about the harsh realities refugees have to deal with in Australia as they are constantly bombarded with discrimination and injustices.

  3. 3. The Sapphires

    Another film centering on Australia, The Sapphires explores racism in 1968  against the Aboriginal Australians. The film follows the story of four Australian Aboriginal girls who face racial discrimination as they form a singing group in the late 1960s. Despite these injustices, however, they are determined to reach their musical dreams in a world that hates them. Several crimes against their people are revealed throughout the movie, including government-sanctioned stealing of their children in an effort to teach them to be “white.”  

  4. 4. 13th

    Documentaries are usually filled with such interesting information but I believe this one is particularly important to view. It helps viewers understand how racism continues to live constantly in the U.S. including in the systems that purport to protect the public. In this eye-opening documentary film, the truth of the racially discriminant prison system is revealed, starting from the very beginning. The history and the present are explained in tandem to show viewers the many ways people of color, especially Blacks, are abused legally through the overused label of “criminal”. We are taught slavery ended years ago, but after watching this, you will soon understood that with the remainder of a technicality in the constitution, it still very much exists.