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Netflix and the Light on the Hill

April 06, 2020

Welcome to the second in series of stay at home entertainment recommendations! 25 movies to watch when you don't know what to watch.

While your kids are working through those books to inspire little ones and young people, we have found 25 films for you to enjoy and be inspired by.   

Just like our reading list for kids, we have chosen films that tell stories of those who have stood up to oppression, prejudice, and inequality. So if you have finished Tiger King and are sick of scrolling through Netflix to find something to watch, start with some of our suggestions.  

We’ve noted down where you can find all these movies online so you can watch without having to leave the house.  

  • Billy Elliott “A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.” Watch it on Netflix
  • Boys Don’t Cry “A young man named Brandon Teena navigates love, life, and being transgender in rural Nebraska.” Watch it on HBO
  • BPM (Beats per Minute) “Members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.” - Rent it on Youtube 
  • Brassed Off “The coal mine in a northern English village may be closing, which would also mean the end of the miners' brass band.” Watch it on Stan
  • Cry Freedom “South African journalist Donald Woods is forced to flee the country, after attempting to investigate the death in custody of his friend, the black activist Steve Biko.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • Erin Brockovich “An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • Full Monty “Six unemployed steelworkers form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for "the full monty" - total nudity.” Rent it on YoutubeB
  • Hidden Figures “The story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • Hotel Rwanda “Paul Rusesabagina was a hotel manager who housed over a thousand Tutsi refugees during their struggle against the Hutu militia in Rwanda.” Rent it on Youtube
  • I, Daniel Blake “After having suffered a heart-attack, a 59-year-old carpenter must fight the bureaucratic forces of the system in order to receive Employment and Support Allowance.” Rent it on Youtube
  • Mabo “Mabo tells the story of one of Australia's national heroes - Eddie Koiki Mabo, the Torres Strait Islander who left school at age 15, yet spearheaded the High Court challenge that overthrew the fiction of terra nullius.” Rent it on Youtube
  • Made in Dagenham “A dramatization of the 1968 strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant, where female workers walked out in protest against sexual discrimination.” - Available to watch free on SBS
  • Nine to Five “Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.” - Rent or buy on Google Play, Itunes, or Youtube
  • Norma Rae “A young single mother and textile worker agrees to help unionize her mill despite the problems and dangers involved.” - Available on Amazon Prime
  • North Country “A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States, Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.” - Rent or watch on Amazon
  • On the Basis of Sex “The true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her struggles for equal rights, and the early cases of a historic career that lead to her nomination and confirmation as U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • Philadelphia “When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.” Watch it on Foxtel
  • Pride “U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.” Watch on SBS on Demand or Netflix
  • Rabbitproof Fence “In 1931, three half-white, half-Aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their houses to be trained as domestic staff, and set off on a journey across the Outback.” Watch it on Stan or Foxtel
  • Rent “This is the film version of the Pulitzer and Tony Award winning musical about Bohemians in the East Village of New York City struggling with life, love and AIDS, and the impacts they have on America.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • Silkwood “A worker at a plutonium processing plant is purposefully contaminated, psychologically tortured and possibly murdered to prevent her from exposing worker safety violations at the plant.”
  • Spotlight “The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.” Watch it on Netflix
  • Suffragette “In 1912 London, a young working mother is galvanized into radical political activism supporting the right for women to vote, and is willing to meet violence with violence to achieve this end.” - Watch it on Stan
  • The Battle of the Sexes “The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.” - Rent it on Youtube
  • The Navigators “Five Yorkshiremen try to survive after the British Rail is bought out by a private company.”


Thank to those who helped build this list! If we've missed a great watch let us know so we can add it below.   

Have you already seen a few of these? Need an excuse to watch TV? Use our Film Bingo Card below to check them off as you watch them. Let us know how many you've seen by tagging us in a photo of your card on Instagram or Facebook @actlabor. #laborfilmchallenge 


*Film excerpts from