Poverty awareness movies help to shine a spotlight on the experiences of individuals in vulnerable places across the globe. They help to humanize the daily struggles that far too many people must live through. Keep reading to learn more about these four top poverty awareness movies.
4 Top Poverty Awareness Movies Everyone Should Watch
- The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019) – “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” is a true story film based on a memoir by Malawian engineer William Kamkwamba. Kamkwamba’s life story speaks true to the reality of poverty in Malawi. During a 2002 drought, Kamwaba’s family farm was left barren and many were left without electricity and water. Without the proper materials available, Kamwba used scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle halves in order to forge an operable windmill. Eventually, the windmill powered four light sources and a second machine was made to power a water pump used to battle the drought and famine. Overall, this story shows the strength of human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity.
- Queen of Katwe (2016) – Disney’s Queen of Katwe is a film based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan girl who goes on to become an international chess champion despite facing numerous challenges. Mutesi and her family live in the slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda. Life is a constant struggle for the family; Mutesi has almost no possessions, can’t read and sells maize on the street for change to support her family. Mutesi and her oldest brother Brian cross paths with a local sports ministry head named Robert Katende; from then on, Mutesi’s life is changed forever. Mutesi finds success and joy in a game that reflects her own life; a pawn makes it all the way across the board, against all odds, and becomes a Queen. In a variety of ways, “Queen of Katwe” brings light to the truth of poverty in Uganda; children are left without an education and often have to work to provide for their families.
- Shoplifters (2018) – “Shoplifters” tells the story of how an untraditional Japenese family sticks together through the struggles of poverty. Osamu and his wife Naboyu live in a small, cramped apartment with their son Shota, grandma Hatsue and aunt Aki. The family must take on unskilled jobs in order to make ends meet. Aki is a sex worker and grandma Hatsue collects a pension. In order to survive, Osamu and Shota shoplift most of their food and necessities. On one of their runs, Osamu and Shota come across a young girl named Yuri. The family takes her in and she begins to become accustomed to her new family’s way of life; this means no education and cramped sleeping conditions. This movie is successful at showing the life of a family in poverty without sugarcoating the situation or patronizing the people.
- Ma’ Rosa (2016) – This movie tells the story of poverty and corruption through the eyes of Ma’ Rosa, who runs a small convenience store in Manila to support her four children. The profits from the shop aren’t enough to raise her family so Ma’ Rosa sells drugs on the side. The police eventually raid Ma’ Rosa’s house and find all of the drugs that she and her husband were planning to sell. The police try to persuade them into handing over their suppliers, along with a large private investment by making a promise of no jail time. “Ma’ Rosa” gives a deep look at how corrupt organizations take advantage of people living in poverty, which is a problem that runs throughout the capital city.
– Juliette Lopez