Arguably, sociology is one of the most underrated and most exciting sciences. Sociology is the study of human social relations and human societies overall, from religious institutions to the penitentiary system, from social class to the belief and cultural systems. Sociologists aim to understand how human actions and their consciousness shape the surrounding cultural and social structures and how these structures shape one’s perception.
As a student, you are trained to think critically about human social life and set relevant research questions. At the same time, you will be able to collect and analyze empirical data, which allows you to find a solution to societal issues. The movies that depict deep social conflicts are a perfect medium for applying the theoretical knowledge into practice, suggesting the possible ways of resolving the conflict or understanding how the problems arise in the communities.
1. Blindspotting (2018), dir. Carlos Lopez Estrada.
This movie is straightforward and well articulates the problems of gentrification, racial profiling, and increasing tension in vulnerable communities. It is a must-see for everyone who wants to understand the concept of privilege, the inequity within a community, and systematic power abuse. Simultaneously, it is an ordinary and chilling story of a person who tries to play along with the rules of the system.
2. Anton’s Right Here (2012), dir. Lyubov Arkus.
It is a powerful documentary dedicated to a boy with autism syndrome, failed by the institutions, and a lack of education regarding people with special needs. It sheds light on a significant problem regarding vulnerable groups of people: the absence of specialists, punitive and medicating methods that reduce an individual to a body without a mind, and low chances to adapt within society or find a place in specialized institutions.
3. Ema (2019), dir. Pablo Larraín.
This movie is perfect for the exploration of Chilean culture and pressure put on women in Latinamerican cultures. This movie is equally entertaining and helpful for understanding the challenges women face decades before and now. It is a perfect study of culture and how it imposes gender roles and expectations.
4. The Addiction (1995), dir. Abel Ferrara.
Although this movie is a vampire horror drama, you can see the connection between blood addiction and substance abuse. This movie shows the vulnerability of certain groups and how drugs and alcohol are the problems of the healthcare system mishandling. Besides, you get many monologues dedicated to philosophers and revolving around themes of self-destruction and salvation.
5. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (2014), dir. Ana Lily Amirpour.
It is a beautiful black and white movie directed by Iranian director, starring Iranian cast, revolving around a small-town setting. You can find many themes familiar to sociology, class division, drug addiction, the disempowerment of women, and subsequent fighting for restoring the balance. It also reflects on problems of small towns, crime, and lack of opportunities in these areas for youth.
6. Kids (1995), dir. Larry Clark.
This movie is a perfect character study of unmotivated by society teenagers. It is a study of home, school, and church failing to provide youth with meaning and necessary communication, which results in them revolting against obsolete values. On the other hand, the movie characters understand that they don’t have a future they would like, helpful guidance, or something to work for.
7. Corpus Christi (2019), dir. Jan Komasa.
It is a fantastic study of religion, the juvenile correctional system, and small-town communities. It shows how sometimes unorthodox methods can push people toward reconciliation and healing. It also illustrates how hard it is for a person to escape the role and labels the society puts on them.
8. Gods of Molenbeek (2019), dir. Reetta Huhtanen.
It is a heartwarming documentary about friendship and childhood. You can reflect on your childhood and wonder how the events and your culture influenced your views and aspirations when you were little. The documentary explores the topic of politics, religion, culture, and how children absorb and transform the information they receive.
9. I, Daniel Blake (2016), dir. Ken Loach.
It is a powerful film that explores the difficulties of class, age, and employment in North East England. It manages to combine the witty English humor with the grim and pessimistic views of the protagonist. It is an illustration of the imperfect system, the challenges that a person carries, and options to which people stick to outlast the odds.
10. Paris Is Burning (1990), dir. Jennie Livingston.
This documentary turned into a phenomenon of its own. It explores the ballroom culture of isolated communities of young African-American and Latino LGBTQ+ people. Paris Is Burning explores the themes of race, gender, violence, class, and community. This movie should have a special place in the watch-list of any student.
As a sociology major, you may find yourself noticing things that other film aficionados don’t see. You can find a more profound analysis of movies at essayhelp.com and other services dedicated to research and in-depth analysis of films as a medium to communicate the sociological problems and concepts.