Recommended Films

This film list has been adapted from a variety of sources.  We have tried to focus on more contemporary works in many cases. Asterisks represent drama/fiction films. Where appropriate we have indicated the ideological stance of the films. Clearly many of these films fall into multiple categories, but we have tried to situate them in only one topic tab. This is an idiosyncratic list. We welcome other suggestions. 

*= fiction/drama

CategoryFilm TitleNotes
General GlobalizationRopa Americana (Academic video Online)(2003) Follows a t-shirt from its donation to a Goodwill in Toronto to its end use–worn by a woman in Costa Rica.
Journey of a Rose(2007) Follows the cut flower industry in Ecuador. Subtitled
Trade Not Aid(2009) Pro-globalization & trade
Corruptable(2007) Big questions posed by young South Africans visiting the UK
Economic GlobalizationThe End of Poverty?(2008) Superb global intro with subtitles; strong left of center focus
Inside Job(2010) economic crisis, economic “hitmen,” multi-nation examples and scholarly narrative; strong left of center focus
A Game of No Rules(2018) costs and benefits of trade globalization
Freightened: the Real Price of Shipping(2017) supply chain dynamics
The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire(2018) Legally available at:
Panama Papers – The Shady World of Offshore Companies(2016)
Cultural GlobalizationThe Way Home (2002) Korea lesson plan available at
The Cup(1999) Tibetan monks and soccer
Manufactured Landscapes(2006) Rise of global manufacturing and effects on regions
Mondovino(2004) Effects of globalization on wine industry
John and Jane(2005) Call centers and cultural imperialism
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Odyssey, Foreign Correspondent series(July 24, 2015) Freely available online. This documentary looks at the experience of refugees in Greece.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Homeland. Foreign Correspondent(August 28, 2018) This documentary looks like at the lives of Jews moving to Berlin. It is freely available online.
AsiaThe Chinese World Order(2016)
BBC – K-Pop: Korea’s Secret Weapon?(2016)
UNWomen – For Good: Stories of Return to The Philippines (YouTube)(2012)
Shadows Of Empires | Inventing Southeast Asia(2016)
Latin AmericaLa jaula de oro*(2013) Fiction. The plot focuses on emigration to the United States from Latin America.
También la lluvia *Fiction. Bolivian Water Privatization
Roma*Fiction. Domestic work, Mexico 1970s.
Manchuca*(2004). Fiction. Chile in ‘73.
Cautiva*(2003). Fiction: the children of disappeared in Argentina.
Romero*(1989). Fiction. El Salvador in 80s.
Harvest of Empire(2013) US intervention in Latin America + immigration
Middle EastYossi & Jagger*(2002) Israeli film about soldiers at the Israel-Lebanon border
Children of Heaven*(1997) Iranian children; lesson plan available at
Frontline – The Children of Syria (PBS Frontline Website)April 19, 2016
AfricaUganda: A Little Goes A Long Way(2006) Microcredit in Uganda
I’m a Subsistence Farmer: Get Me Out of Here(2007) Ghana:–Get-Me-Out-of-Here-
Milking the Rhino(2009): Docuseek; cultural upheaval related to wildlife tourism
EuropeAustralian Broadcasting Corporation. There’ll always be an England.(2015). This film examines how the English viewed their identity and the European Union before the Brexit vote. There is a transcript at the bottom of the ABC website.
DevelopmentMister Johnson(1990) interaction of colonials, local Muslim infrastructure, “been-tos”
The Shape of Water(2006) complex examination of women in development
Disaster Capitalism(2018) focus on Haiti, Afghanistan, and Papua New Guinea
When China Met Africa(2011) Global South/Global South development
SecurityThe New Barbarianism(2017) intersection of healthcare and humanitarian intervention and security
Foreign Correspondent, Australian Broadcasting Corporation: Ukraine: Republic of Nowhere(September 22, 2015)
Foreign Correspondent, Leave No Dark Corner, Australian Broadcasting Corporation website(September 18, 2018)
EnvironmentPrincess Mononoke*A girl raised by wolves in a battle of nature vs technology. Princes Mononoke helps her animal spirits stay alive while the Iron erra is taking over and destroying the forest.
The Age of Stupid*(2009) A broad-based climate change exploration. A mix of fiction with contemporary video.
Apash Outsiders(2011) Amazon, stakeholders, and destruction
Costa Rica: Land for Sale(2010) stakeholders + the Environmental Tribunal:–a-Land-For-Sale
Before the flood(2016)
MiningGold Fever(2014) Guatemala
Empires of Gold(2017) Sahel (Ghana, Mali, Songhai)
Mined to Death(2006) Bolivia (Potosi)
Children of the Silver Mountains(2007) Bolivia (Potosi)
HealthFed Up (2014) Sugar and chronic diseases
Death by Design: The Dirty Secret of Our Digital Addiction(2016) Health and environmental costs
Frontline, The Virus: What went wrong(June 16, 2020). Note: Frontline may not work outside of the United States.
Frontline, PBS. Fighting Ebola in a Congolese War Zone(December 2019) Please note that Frontline may not be available outside the United States. Freely available at:
EnergyHere Comes the Sun(2008) Energy alternatives in Europe
The Breakthrough in Renewable Energy(2016)
Shale Cowboys(2017) pro-fracking film
Food Inc. (agribusiness)(2008)
Victims of Cheap Coffee(2002)
When Bananas Ruled(2017)
Underhand Tactics: Food Globalisation(2013) dubbed from French
Darwin’s Nightmare(2004) Overfishing in Tanzania
The Dark Side of Chocolate(2010)
Bitter Aftertaste(2005) Fair Trade and chocoholics:
Wasted! The Story of Food Waste(2017)
Foreign Correspondent, Australian Broadcast Corporation, Vanilla Slice(January 22, 2019) This documentary is freely available online. Please note that there is also a transcript at the bottom of the page.

In addition to the above list, the Australian TV program Foreign Correspondent has a continually updated list of good documentaries. You can find these here: Because these videos are added regularly, you can also find good contemporary material for your class.

The website Films for Change includes detailed action recommendations. This list of films is not by topic but by title:

We also like to use Frontline videos. They may, however, be behind a firewall for people outside of the United States. You can find frontline videos here: 

Privacy & Cookies: This site uses cookies. See our Privacy Policy for details. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. If you do not consent, click here to opt out of Google Analytics.