10 Movies That Changed The World

10 Movies That Changed the World 10 V For Vendetta Quite a bit of the 21st century has been punctuated by political unrest and activism

And perhaps the most iconic type of action in the modern day has been so-called “hacktivism”, best exemplified by the group Anonymous Through the late noughties and early 2010s in particular, Anonymous made their name through high profile events like protesting police shootings of young black men, taking down illegal darknet sites and the million mask march against political corruption Perhaps the most iconic thing about Anonymous was their image, specifically the Guy Fawkes Mask inspired by the movie V for Vendetta – itself based on Alan Moore’s comic of the same name While it’s not particularly well-remembered on its filmmaking merits, the movie inspired thousands of online activists with its message of social change where anyone could be the source Now, I’m sure some of you in the audience are thinking “what’s so world-changing about a mask?” Well, my friend, optics are everything

There’s a good chance that if Anonymous didn’t have such an eye-catching aesthetic, no one would have given them the time of day 9 A Girl In The River For decades, Pakistan had a major problem with so-called “honor killings”, where girls and young women would die at the hands of their family members in retaliation to perceived slights against the family name One such attack was carried out against Saeba, who was shot in the head by her father and dumped in a river after she eloped to marry at age 18 Worse still, a loophole in Pakistani law where “forgiveness” by the victim or their family meant the father, who was also part of that family, went free

Luckily Saba survived, and she went on to become the subject of a documentary about the practice of honor killings, entitled A Girl in the River That documentary won an Oscar, and in fact made its director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, the first Pakistani in history to win two academy awards But it wasn’t just a case of recognition A Girl In The River actually led to reform in Pakistani law Whereas in the past, parents could forgive a brother’s crime or vice versa, honor killings now carry a mandatory life or death sentence

The ‘honor killing’ classification can still be interpreted by a judge, but it’s still a damn sight better 8 Philadelphia Throughout the last two decades of the twentieth century, the devastating HIV AIDS epidemic was accompanied by a moral panic that set back gay rights to a huge degree By 1993, more than 200,000 people had died from the disease, which was leading some to overestimate the chances and methods of catching it, and others to let their quiet homophobia become not so quiet That background set the stage for Philadelphia, which sees Tom Hanks playing a gay lawyer that contracts AIDS

When his firm finds out and fires him because of it, he takes out legal action for his unfair dismissal, despite the challenges of the climate around AIDS sufferers While some now deride it as too restrained, it’s clear that Philadelphia went a long way towards humanizing AIDS sufferers Bear in mind this was the first ever mainstream movie on the topic, and one that both topped the box office and earned Hanks an oscar But 25 years later, while treatment has seen many people with HIV living relatively normal lives, there are still thousands of deaths per year, increasingly among marginalized communities According to AIDS charity worker Jeanmarie Zippo, a modern-day Philadelphia would depict a transgender person of color with an opioid addiction – currently the most vulnerable group

But what do you think? Do you think Philadelphia requires a modern-day update, or do you think the story is still as relevant as it always has been? Let us know in the comments down below 7 Jaws If I uttered the phrase “movie monster” to you, there’s no doubt that one of the first that would come to mind is the shark from Stephen Spielberg’s mega-blockbuster Jaws Anyway, so great is the beast’s legacy that you’d be hard-pressed to find an article about it without finding an anecdote about how people were terrified of going into the water for years afterwards But whether that has any basis in fact or not, there’s a real statistical effect on sharks themselves that can be seen from Jaws – one that Spielberg shouldn’t be too proud of

According to George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research in Gainesville, hunting on the eastern seaboard inspired by Jaws caused a 50% decline, reaching up to 90% in select areas According to shark researchers, it’s due in large part to the depiction of great whites in the media as vengeful and calculating, with a tendency to hold grudges That’s far from the case, so much so that before the 20th century, sharks were pretty much just considered pests But on the plus side, falling numbers has encouraged research into sharks Better late than never

6 Blackfish Unlike the rest of this list, Blackfish has had such a visceral impact that its effect on the world is visible through reputation alone But for those who don’t know anything about it, Blackfish is a 2013 documentary about the practice of capturing and training orca whales at SeaWorld It specifically focussed on Tilikum, who famously killed three people while in captivity at the park The film’s revelations about the traumatic effects of orca captivity had a pretty major effect on the park, to the point where it saw consistent drops in attendance, revenue and profits year-on-year

In the second quarter of 2015, income saw a drop of 84 percent SeaWorld initially condemned the picture as inaccurate and told investors that business performance issues were down to factors like weather, but that didn’t wash for long, and the investors eventually filed a class-action lawsuit claiming they had been misled about the true cause Finally, by 2016, SeaWorld agreed to suspend its orca breeding program entirely and phase out performances using the animals 5 Volhynia So chances are that you haven’t heard of this film

But that’s okay, not everything revolves around the west and a film doesn’t need to be a major motion picture to have a major impact Anyway, Volhynia, also known as Hatred, is a 2016 polish historical drama covering the events of the 1943 massacre of the same name That saga saw 100,000 Polish people killed by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Nazi-occupied Poland For obvious reasons, it’s still a sensitive topic in Polish-Ukranian relations So, despite the heaps of critical praise, the film has reignited tensions between the two countries

But it’s not NECESSARILY because of the intent of the picture, rather that such a sensitive topic is ripe for manipulation Since the film’s release, Polish websites have been flooded with inflammatory comments and people involved in the film have received heaps of threats According to research by Political Capital, that can be traced back to Russian trolls, who have a vested interest in instability between Ukraine and Poland What exactly will come of that is yet to be seen, but Volhynia has certainly made its mark on modern-day geopolitics 4

Iron Man Most of this list touches on films that had some kind of real-world impact outside the media bubble That’s not exactly the case here, but it’s undeniable that 2008’s Iron Man changed the way that the world interacts with cinema Touted as “the most pivotal film of the last decade” by The Week Magazine, Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and you’d have to be living in the quantum realm to have missed that So far, the MCU has raked in more than 22 BILLION dollars worldwide, making it the biggest franchise in history So naturally, it ushered in an age of ‘shared universes’, where films are made explicitly to fit into some kind of tie-in, team-up, or crossover

Needless to say, they’ve all failed, with the notable exception of the Marvel original And while superheroes have existed for the better part of the last century, Iron Man laid the groundwork for them to become THE dominant force in pop culture around the world And if you think it’s going anywhere any time soon, you’d be mistaken 3 The Day After Tomorrow Now, in case you didn’t get the memo: the earth is kind of on fire

Greenhouse gases have locked us in a sunlight sauna and we’re running out of time before a bunch of sweaty dudes crowd into the room and we die of exhaustion Strangely specific metaphors aside, it’s crucial that we get that message out in a way that translates to people if we have any hope of mitigating the oncoming climate emergency On the plus side, cinema has managed to do that quite effectively, particularly in the case of Roland Emmerich’s The Day After Tomorrow According to research conducted by Yale University, people that HAD watched the film were more likely to take all kinds of climate conscious actions, from buying a more fuel-efficient car to voting for greener politicians like John Kerry Similarly, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth raised widespread awareness about the severity of the issue, along with raking in the accolades

But that said, the job still isn’t done, hence Al Gore’s sequel documentary Maybe we just need a follow-up from Emmerich Call it “Three Weeks From Tuesday” or something, I don’t know That’ll save the world, right? 2 Super Size Me You’d be pretty hard pressed to find anyone who thinks that fast food is GOOD for them

But there are a lot of people who just don’t really think about it, and that number was a LOT higher before documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock gave McDonalds the gonzo treatment in 2004 For those who don’t know, the documentary saw Spurlock eat McDonalds food for every meal over the course of a month, interspersed with facts about the food industry The more he eats, the worse he feels, and we see him developing health problems both physical and mental Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film was a hit with critics and audiences alike, and it prompted a serious backlash from McDonalds They even went as far as launching an ad campaign during the trailers for the film itself! Despite that, it took just six weeks for McDonalds to drop the super size option, and over the years we’ve seen their advertising strategy shift towards health concerns

All of that said, I should add that there has been plenty of criticism over the film’s reliability, as well as similar experiments that achieved much less extreme results Even so, the film’s cultural shift can still be felt to this day 1 Victim Achieving equal rights have been a long uphill battle for the LGBT community, and one that’s still being fought now Part of that struggle has been for media representation, which doesn’t just help people to see themselves; it’s also a humanizing influence for the world at large

If you need proof of how effective it can be, look no further than 1961’s Victim This British thriller flick tells the story of successful Barrister Melville Farr, played by Dirk Bogarde, and a lower-class man blackmailed over their romantic relationship After the latter kills himself, Farr takes on the blackmail gang at the risk of destroying his career Bear in mind that when the film premiered, homosexuality was still illegal, and it wasn’t until 6 years latter, that the 1967 Sexual Offences Act would change that in the UK In fact, Victim is commonly credited as having swung public perception in favor of changing the law

The Earl of Arran even wrote a letter to Dirk Bogarde saying as much, telling him that he believed the film was responsible for swinging House of Lords votes from 48% to 63% in favor

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