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New to Old Movies: Important Releases and Why You Should See Them

Movies offer up a plethora of innovative, expressive, diverse storylines. Movies also function as a plausible escape from reality, especially in such a politically charged climate where anger, division and hate-filled rhetoric populates immediate and global news channels. There is a frantic immediacy to these few upcoming releases, a beautiful chance to tell a fully-rounded story and hopefully impart an important moral lesson in the meantime. Nestled amongst action-packed blockbusters and (albeit wonderfully done) live-action princesses, here is a short list of upcoming releases and old-but-true series you should keep an eye out for.


The Zookeeper’s Wife: March 31, 2017, Feature Film

Starring Jessica Chastain and directed by Niki Caro, The Zookeeper’s Wife is a big-budget film filled with distinctive, nuanced storytelling. The film follows Antonina and Jan Zabinski and their foray into uncertain moral foreground, when they start hiding hundreds of humans amongst animals in the Warsaw Zoo during the German Invasion. This film, from the trailer alone, is packed with tension and fraught with heartbreak and hope in a time where the desolate conditions of a zoo were a safe haven for hundreds running from prosecution. The Zabinski’s and their story of betrayal, pride and innocently enacted heroism shines a light on the evil turpitude a country fell under at a time when fascism reigned supreme.


America Divided: September 30-October 28, 2016, Docu-series

Courtesy: americadividedseries.com

Has everyone read America Ferrera’s letter to Trump on Immigration rights? If not, go read it here. She spoke out in an open letter in 2015 and again, realizing good, true work is never really done, helped curate a docu-series created by Solly Granatstein, Lucian Read and Richard Rowley, on EPIX Original. This series encourages viewers to take action in the political, economic and social landscape and features prominent names like Amy Poehler , Zach Galifianakis, Jesse Williams. In a particularly important Episode 4, America Ferrera digs deeper into the lives of undocumented immigrants in Texas in a continuing storyline. This docu-series premiered its last episode back in October 28, 2016 and features five complex, diverse episodes concerning issues such as workers rights, gentrification in New York City and disparities in the justice system. It is an important series to watch and leaves viewers with insight and the empowerment to do more to help others.


Girl Rising, March 7, 2013, Film

This film follows the stories of nine girls from developing countries and their fight for education. Also a world-renowned campaign, this a film that sparked a movement to get girls back into the classroom. The film delves into the importance of fostering girls education around the world and how they can empower, improve and change society for the better. Their website says the following regarding their purpose,  “Our mission is to change the way the world values girl’s, ensure that girls’ education is part of the mainstream conversation and inspire action.” (via girlrising.com).

These releases are not action-packed multi-million blockbusters but instead steady, essential stories from around the world. They should be featured on your queue based on the simple fact that learning about world issues and investing in educating your mind will only seek to expand your views, empathy and understanding of problems faced by those who have to constantly fight for their voice to be heard. Get ready to enjoy these films on your next rainy weekend afternoon. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a Creative Writing major with an affinity for take-your-breath-away-sentences. I also like solid 80s rock jams and blogging about my feelings. I'm constantly hopeful I can one day escape to the moon. For now, I'm enjoying attending a wonderfully diverse school and take pride in my beautiful group of friends.
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