I must admit, my film diet typically consists of the latest Marvel hits. Though they can be formulaic, I love the idea of people with superpowers trying to make the world a better place. That said, every now and then I branch out and look for movies that focus more on the story-telling than the special effects. Here are my top five recent views, all of which are based on real-life events.
Disclaimer: I would not recommend any of these for children.
1. Florence Foster Jenkins (2016). This is one of the most quirky stories I have encountered, and it is difficult to believe it is true. The film tells the story of a New York heiress and socialite with a passion for music. With support from her partner and friends, she prepares for a historic opera concert at Carnegie Hall.
2. 22 July (2018). It seems like most Scandinavian films are dark, and this is no exception. I can’t really say I enjoyed this movie. In fact, it left me in tears at many places, but it’s an important story. The first half hour is brutally violent, as it depicts Anders Breivik’s brutal terrorist attack in 2011. The rest of the movie tells the story of the court case that ensued, viewing it from multiple perspectives.
3. The Angel (2018). Tells the story of Ashraf Marwan, an Egyptian spy who fed information to Israel. The film takes a fair bit of licence with the historical events, but it kept my interest and inspired me to learn about a fascinating 20th century figure.
4. The Resistance Banker (2018). The pacing is a bit slow and hard to follow at times. However, this Dutch film shows a side of World War II history I was previously unaware of. A banker develops a massive shadow-banking industry to fund the resistance against the Nazis.
5. Sami Blood (2016). A Sami girl in Sweden comes of age during a time of extreme racism. Again, this is a heartbreaking tragic story, but an important one as it reflects the experiences of indigenous peoples around the world.