If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to email Sanda at!
Hey #ngpnation! Just because we’re socially distanced doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy watching civically-minded cinema together. We bet there are a ton of films you’ve always wanted to see and haven’t had time or energy for.  Well, now’s the time. And it’s ALWAYS more interesting to watch films like this together so we can discuss the issues and ideas raised and the implications they have for building better civil society.  
And so we’re running a Social(ly distanced) Issues Cinema Club and we want YOU to join.  If you’re interested:
1. Read through suggestions made to date and add any suggestions of social issue films you’ve watched and loved or WANTED to watch to our running list below, putting your name in parentheses. Also, feel free to add any comments about any of the movies suggested below if you’ve seen them. (scroll to the bottom for a list of the films we've already watched--we've watched some really good ones!
2. Vote for your top options at  (Each week, we’ll ask you to vote for the films that are of greatest interest to you, tally the votes, and announce the Sat night film on Fri morning.
3. We’ll stream the film on Saturdays at 8PM ET/5PM PT and have an online chat via Zoom afterwards.
Suggested films (in alphabetical order)
TitleRecommenderDescriptionFilm Trailer URLInitialize if of interest
1776TateA musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.
12 Years A SlaveAnniyahSteve McQueen’s powerful film based on the autobiographical narrative (1853) of Solomon Northup, chronicling the grueling experiences of slavery and the dehumanizing effects of human bondage on everyone involved.
22 JulyKenishaIn 22 JULY, Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Paul Greengrass (CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, UNITED 93) tells the true story of the aftermath of Norway’s deadliest terrorist attack. On 22 July 2011, 77 people were killed when a far-right extremist detonated a car bomb in Oslo before carrying out a mass shooting at a leadership camp for teens. 22 JULY uses the lens of one survivor’s physical and emotional journey to portray the country's path to healing and reconciliation.
A Scanner DarklyHannahAn undercover cop in a not-too-distant future becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result.  
Age of ConsequencesThe Hurt Locker meets An Inconvenient Truth, The Age of Consequences investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability.
All Day and a NightMakeidaAn aspiring rapper named Jahkor Lincoln arrives in prison. He ends up serving a life sentence for murder and looks back on the days preceding his arrest and the circumstances of his childhood to find clues to his way forward in life and his survival.
All In: The Fight For DemocracySandaThe documentary, centered around Stacey Abrams, takes a look at the history, and current activism against voter suppression; barriers to voting that most people don't even know is a threat to their basic rights as citizens of the United States.
Alt Right: Age of RageTateThis documentary follows a white power leader and an Antifa activist leading up to the Charlottesville riots in the first year of Trump's presidency.
Amazing GraceMateo2006 film about the life and efforts of John Wilburforce to abolish the institution of slavery throughout the British Empire.
Amend: The Fight for AmericaSandaWhen the United States of America was founded, the ideals of freedom and equality did not apply to all people. These are the stories of the brave Americans who fought to right the nation’s wrongs and enshrine the values we hold most dear into the Constitution — with liberty and justice for all. Executive produced and hosted by Will Smith.
The AmericansMateo2013 series about the USSR’s espionage program in Red-Scare America.
American FactoryInicaIn this documentary, hopes soar when a Chinese company reopens a shuttered factory in Ohio. But a culture clash threatens to shatter an American dream.
American History Hannah A former "neo-nazi skinhead" tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.
Athlete AMontana This documentary focuses on the gymnasts who survived USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's abuse and the reporters who exposed USAG's toxic culture.
BlindspottingMichelleLifelong friends Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal co-wrote and star in this timely and entertaining story about the intersection of race and class set against the backdrop of a rapidly gentrifying Oakland, as while on probation, a man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.
BecomingDanikaJoin former first lady Michelle Obama in an intimate documentary looking at her life, hopes and connection with others as she tours with "Becoming."
Becoming JaneMichelleAnne Hathaway stars as a young, love-struck Jane Austen in the untold romance with the dashing Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy) that inspired her novels. Their clashing egos set off sparks that ignite a passionate romance and fuel Jane's dream of doing the unthinkable - marrying for love.
Between The World And MeSandaBased on Ta-Nehisi Coates' book written as an open letter to his 15 year old son, this new film explores a wide swath of the Black experience in America, from police violence and other forms of oppression to the ways in which Black identity celebrates joy, through a series of monologues performed by celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Yara Shahidi, Joe Morton, and Phylicia Rashad, as well as activists like Angela Davis and Alicia Garza.
The Big ShortSandaWhen four outsiders saw what the big banks, media and government refused to, the global collapse of the economy, they had an idea: The Big Short. Their bold investment leads them into the dark underbelly of modern banking where they must question everyone and everything. Based on the true story and best-selling book by Michael Lewis (The Blind Side, Moneyball), and directed by Adam Mckay (Anchorman, Step Brothers), The Big Short stars Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt.
Birth Of A Nation WaniaSet against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities - against himself and his fellow slaves - Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.
Black is KingSandaBeyonce's new visual album, inspired by the Lion King, in which a young African king is cast out from his family into an unforgiving world, in which he subsequently undergoes a journey through betrayal, love and self-identity to reclaim his throne, utilizing the guidance of his ancestors and childhood love. The story is told through the voices of present-day black artists
Black Panthers: Vanguard of the RevolutionBraneydaRevisit the turbulent 1960s through the first feature-length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails
Book Thief
Born on the Fourth of July TateThe biography of Ron Kovic, played by Tom Cruise. Paralyzed in the Vietnam war, he becomes an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist after feeling betrayed by the country he fought for.
Boyz in the HoodThis classic coming of age drama follows the lives of three young males living in the Crenshaw ghetto of Los Angeles in the early 1990s, dissecting questions of race, relationships, violence, and future prospects.
Brain on FireStricken with seizures, psychosis and memory loss, a young New York Post reporter visits doctor after doctor in search of an elusive diagnosis. 
Capitalism: A Love Story (or any/all documentaries by Michael Moore)Tateexactly one year and a day after the initial Wall Street bailout, Michael Moore looks at the global financial crisis and the U.S. economy during the transition between the incoming Obama Administration and the outgoing Bush Administration. In standard Moore fashion, he mockingly draws attention to the Wall Street and Government decisions that have enabled what he calls "the biggest robbery in the history of this country."
Citizen RuthHannahRuth Stoops is a drug addict who nobody even noticed until she got pregnant. Now, everyone wants a piece of her. It is a comedy about one woman caught in the ultimate tug-of-war: a clash of wild, noisy, ridiculous people that rapidly dissolves into a media circus.
City HallSandaRenowned documentarian Frederick Wiseman's latest film casts an kaleidoscopic look at the function and practice of community, policy, and civic engagement in shaping Americans’ everyday lives. City Hall focuses on the inner workings of the city of Boston, taking viewers into the public and backroom discussions that can either inspire or stall municipal action. He documents steps toward inclusivity and social reform, as well as the entrenched systems that keep progress in relative check.
CollectiveSanda In 2015, a fire at Bucharest’s Colectiv club leaves 27 dead and 180 injured. Soon, more burn victims begin dying in hospitals from wounds that were not life-threatening. Then a doctor blows the whistle to a team of investigative journalists. One revelation leads to another as the journalists start to uncover vast health care fraud. When a new health minister is appointed, he offers unprecedented access to his efforts to reform the corrupt system but also to the obstacles he faces. Following journalists, whistle-blowers, burn victims, and government officials, Collective is an uncompromising look at the impact of investigative journalism at its best.
College Behind Bars (PBS Series)MollyExplore the transformative power of education through the eyes of a dozen incarcerated men and women trying to earn college degrees – and a chance at new beginnings – from one of the country’s most rigorous prison education programs.
Crip CampSandra A groundbreaking summer camp galvanizes a group of teens with disabilities to help build a movement, forging a new path toward greater equality.
CruellaMadelineThis new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil, is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, and follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable, and revenge-bent Cruella.
Da Five BloodsIman Four African American veterans return to Vietnam decades after the war to find their squad leader's remains — and a stash of buried gold.
Dark GirlsMichellegoes underneath the surface to explore the prejudices dark-skinned women face throughout the world.
Dear White PeopleMichellea sly, provocative satire of race relations in "post-racial" America, following a group of African American students as they navigate campus life and racial politics at a predominantly white college
Dr ZhivagoAnaAn epic romance set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution, David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago is one of cinema’s great love stories. The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during World War I and then the October Revolution.
Drylongso101 blessings“part love story” and “part murder mystery” and deals brilliantly with numerous issues relating to race, identity, representation and oppression.
Frida SandaJulia Taymor's vibrant biography of the extraordinary life of artist Frida Kahlo, who grew up in Mexico City at a time when it was a hotbed of exile and intrigue and who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.
Fruitvale StationHannah/AbigailThe story of Oscar Grant III, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008 and his life.  
Get Me Roger Stone TateExamines the rise, fall and rebirth of political operative Roger Stone, who's been an influential member of Team Trump for decades.
GirlhoodA French coming-of-age drama focusing on the life of Marieme, a Black teenage girl who lives in a rough neighbourhood on the outskirts of Paris, that explores and challenges conceptions of race, gender, and class through Marieme's relationship with a new group of girls and a new love interest
Hillary (a Hulu documentary series)Stephaniean intimate portrait of a public woman, Hillary interweaves revealing moments from never-before-seen 2016 campaign footage with biographical chapters of her life.
In the Time of ButterfliesAnniyahinspired by the true story of the three Mirabal sisters who, in 1960, were murdered for their part in an underground plot to overthrow the government of General Trujillo in the Dominican Republic
India's DaughterMichellethe story of the brutal gang rape and murder in Delhi of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh, which sparked protests and serious debate about gender inequality across India
Iron Jawed AngelsSandaThe film focuses on the American women's suffrage movement during the 1910s and follows women's suffrage leaders Alice Paul and Lucy Burns as they use peaceful and effective nonviolent strategies, tactics, and dialogues to revolutionize the American feminist movement to grant women the right to vote.
John AdamsMateo2008 miniseries about the adult life of Founding Father and President John Adams.
John QKeismarie/MadelineJohn Quincy Archibald takes a hospital emergency room hostage when his insurance won't cover his son's heart transplant.
Justice Episode 3: Putting a Price Tag on LifeIvanStar Harvard University Professor Michael Sandel presents some contemporary cases in which cost-benefit analysis was used to put a dollar value on human life. The cases give rise to several objections to the utilitarian logic of seeking “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Is it possible to sum up and compare all values using a common measure like money?
Kiss and CryAitanaCarley Allison (Sarah Fisher), an up-and-coming elite figure skater and singer who finds love just as she is diagnosed with an incredibly rare 1 in 3.5 billion form of cancer.
The LaundromatMateo2019 film about exploitative shell companies in the United States.
Leave No TraceHannah, RabinaA father and teenage daughter have lived off the grid for years in the forests of Portland, Oregon. When their idyllic life is shattered, both are put into social services. After clashing with their new surroundings, Will and Tom (Thomasin) set off on a harrowing journey back to their wild homeland.
LovingMichelle“Loving” revisits the era when blacks and whites were so profoundly segregated in this country that they often couldn’t wed, fictionalizing the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, a married couple who were arrested in 1958 because he was white, she was not, and they lived in Virginia, a state that banned interracial unions.
The Man in the High CastleMateo2015 series about an alternate 20th Century in which the Axis Powers won WWII.
MarshallSandaLong before he sat on the United States Supreme Court or claimed victory in Brown v. Board of Education, Thurgood Marshall (Chadwick Boseman) was a young rabble-rousing attorney for the NAACP. Marshall is the true story of his greatest challenge in those early days
Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter SoldierMateo2014 film about the relationship that government’s responsibility to keep peace and order has with its obligation to respect the privacy and freedom of people.
MatewanJeannean older film but the story line is so contemporary - especially given the Right to Work laws common in Republican dominated states.
MilkAlli, NuzhatThe story of Harvey Milk and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.
Minding the Gap Hannah, AngelinaA documentary spanning almost a decade about three friends who skateboard together to escape their challenging home lives. As they become adults they all have to come to terms with  the cycle of domestic violence that has taken hold of their community.
Miss JuneteenthSandaTurquoise Jones is a single mom who holds down a household, a rebellious teenager, and pretty much everything that goes down at Wayman's BBQ & Lounge. Turquoise is also a bona fide beauty queen--she was once crowned Miss Juneteenth, a title commemorating the day slaves in Texas were freed--two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Life didn't turn out as beautifully as the title promised, but Turquoise, determined to right her wrongs, is cultivating her daughter, Kai, to become Miss Juneteenth, even if Kai wants something else.
Miss RepresentationStephanieUncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see: how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America.
Mississippi BurningSandaTwo F.B.I. Agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.
MonsterSandaMonster tells the story of Steve Harmon (Kelvin Harrison Jr.), a seventeen-year-old honor student whose world comes crashing down around him when he is charged with felony murder. The film follows his dramatic journey from a smart, likeable film student from Harlem attending an elite high school through a complex legal battle that could leave him spending the rest of his life in prison.
Mr. Smith Goes to WashingtonTateA naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down. Featuring Jimmy Stewart's famous filibuster scene
MudboundTateSet in the rural American South during World War II, Mudbound is an epic story of two men, one White, one Black, returning home to their shared farmland in the Mississippi Delta, where they struggle to deal with racism, a ruthless social hierarchy, and adjusting to life after war.
News of the WorldMadelineA Civil War veteran (Tom Hanks) agrees to deliver a girl, taken by the Kiowa people years ago, to her aunt and uncle, against her will. They travel hundreds of miles and face grave dangers as they search for a place that either can call home.
Noam Chomsky's Requiem for an American Dream Tatethe definitive discourse with Noam Chomsky on the defining characteristic of our time - the deliberate concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a select few--while looking back on his own life of activism and political participation. 
OkjaHannahTilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano star in this drama about a girl who is caught between a greedy meat production corporation and a vigilante animal rights group as she tries to rescue her best friend, a genetically modified “super pig”.
The People at the Bottom of the StairsMichelle
Poetic JusticeKiaraStill grieving after the murder of her boyfriend, hairdresser Justice (Janet Jackson) writes poetry to deal with the pain of her loss. Unable to get to Oakland to attend a convention because of her broken-down car, Justice gets a lift with her friend, Iesha (Regina King) and Iesha's postal worker boyfriend, Chicago (Joe Torry). Along for the ride is Chicago's co-worker, Lucky (Tupac Shakur), to whom Justice grows close after some initial problems. But is she ready to open her heart again?
PreciousKiaraIn Harlem in the late 1980s, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
Queen and SlimOlivia C./Calisaromantic road crime drama following two African-Americans who go on the run after killing a police officer during a traffic stop
Race To NowhereMichelleFeaturing the heartbreaking stories of students across the country who have been pushed to the brink by over-scheduling, over-testing and the relentless pressure to achieve, “Race to Nowhere” points to a silent epidemic in our schools. It reveals an education system in which cheating has become commonplace; students have become disengaged; stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant; and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.
RayMilenaThe story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
RememberSandaWith the aid of a fellow Auschwitz survivor and a hand-written letter, an elderly man with dementia goes in search of the person he believes to be responsible for the death of his family in the death camp to kill him himself.
Requiem for a DreamHannahFour characters are affected by drug addiction, which we see alter their physical and emotional state. Their addictions cause them to become imprisoned in a world of delusion and desperation. As the film progresses, each character deteriorates, and their delusional state is overtaken by reality, resulting in catastrophe. 
ResistanceNuzhat/MichelleThe story of a group of Jewish Boy Scouts who worked with the French Resistance to save the lives of ten thousand orphans during World War II.
Rigged: The Voter Suppression PlaybookSandaNarrated by Jeffrey Wright, Rigged chronicles how our right to vote is being undercut by a decade of dirty tricks - including the partisan use of gerrymandering and voter purges, and the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court. The film captures real-time voter purges in North Carolina and voter intimidation in Texas.1h 19m
Secrets of the SurfaceMollyExamines the life and mathematical work of Maryam Mirzakhani, an Iranian immigrant to the United States who became a superstar in her field. In 2014, she was both the first woman and the first Iranian to be honored by mathematics’ highest prize, the Fields Medal. The path of her education, success on Iran’s Math Olympiad team, and her brilliant work, make Mirzakhani an ideal role model for all young women looking toward careers in science and mathematics.
Selah and the SpadesSandaFive factions run the underground life of Haldwell School, a prestigious east coast boarding school. At the head of the most powerful faction sits Selah Summers, walking the fine line between being feared and loved.
SelmaAnniyah/Bethany/ Abigail/
Ava Duvernay’s chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.
She’s Beautiful When She’s AngryStephanieGreat documentary on second wave feminism. Available for free with your public library card on Kanopy.
Short Term 12HannahA 20-something supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility tries to improve the lives of the residents there while dealing with her own trauma as well alongside her co-worker and longtime boyfriend.
Slay the DragonSandaA secretive, high-tech gerrymandering initiative launched 10 years ago threatens to undermine our democracy. Slay the Dragon follows everyday people as they fight to make their votes matter.
Sorry to Bother YouWalliIn a wild dystopian satire of an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.
StriveKiaraKalani is a teenager living in Harlem where her family struggles with various kinds of adversity. Her college counselor sees great promise in her future but as Kalani's siblings get caught in a web of problems, Kalani teeters on the brink of ruin as she struggles to keep both her family and her dream of getting into Yale intact.
Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)SandaDeftly interweaving incredible live footage with a series of revealing interviews, Summer of Soul captures the spirit and context of a watershed moment while tying it firmly to the present. a feature documentary about the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival which celebrated African American music and culture, and promoted Black pride and unity.