Photo by Chris Bell

Film, a valuable resource to promote civic awareness, global engagement, discussions and ultimately, positive social change. Travel across the globe through these five documentaries with a socially conscious backbone to catch a glimpse of some of the issues our world is currently facing and challenging.

Living on One Dolla
Join four friends as they embark on an inspirational journey to rural Guatemala to learn what it really means to live under a dollar a day. For 8 weeks they experience the reality of extreme poverty that over 1.1 billion people have to live with day-to-day. This humbling award-winning film leaves you with one question: Could you live on one dollar a day?
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Set in Virunga National Park, this Oscar-nominated documentary is filled with as much beautifully visual aesthetics as it is with heartfelt moments and raw substance. Trying to rebuild their country after 20 years of war, park rangers risk their lives against threats such as poachers, M23 militias and the U.K. oil company Soco to protect the park and mountain gorillas that inhabit it. U.N. Messenger of Peace, Jane Goodall expressed that, “Virunga is a wake-up call. Everyone who cares about the future of the planet must see this movie, and I would like to congratulate those responsible for its birth.”
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Half the Sky
This beautifully filmed documentary takes place in 10 different countries. Half the Sky follows Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, along with celebrity activists Diane Lane, America Ferrera, Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes, Gabrielle Union, and Olivia Wilde as they tell the stories of inspiring and lionhearted individuals. This film highlights some of the major afflictions in the lives of women today from all over the world and how they are seizing the opportunity to bring awareness of these oppressions and make a change.
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Rocky Braat was a Pittsburgh resident and a disillusioned American teenager before he found his calling on a trip to India. Coming across an orphanage of women and children living with HIV and AIDS, he is compelled to make a long-term decision to stay in order to care for, nurture and serve as hope for the people in need of it. In this riveting documentary, director/best friend Steve Hoover travels with him to film his mission. Filled with grace and empathy, the audience is invited to witness the challenges and complexity of the heart-rending issue of children living with HIV and AIDS.
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Girl Rising
In this film by 10×10, an organization seeking educational equality for underprivileged girls worldwide, nine girls reenact actual incidents from their lives to illustrate the plight of girls in developing worlds. This documentary is filled with moving and motivating stories about young heroines overcoming different obstacles to be able to have an education and be the authors of their own destinies.
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