Resource Type: Films

Below is a collection of our recommended films for middle and high school. We offer additional lists and articles about films. See the links here:

Films with a Conscience is an annotated list of films that we recommend for middle and high school. It includes many of the titles listed further below.

Teaching People’s History with Film offers some strategies for viewing films with students in the classroom that invite insight and critical reflection.

Film Clips is our collection of short clips, many of which are from the Voices of a People’s History “People Speak” productions.
First Light (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

First Light

Film. By Upstander Project. 2015. 13 min. Story of forced removal of Native American children in Maine sent to boarding schools.
Continue reading
Slavery by Another Name (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Slavery by Another Name

Film. By Sam Pollard, Catherine Allan, Douglas Blackmon and Sheila Curran Bernard. 2012. 90 min. Reveals the interlocking forces in the South and the North that enabled “neoslavery” post-Emancipation Proclamation.
Continue reading
Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer

Film. Written, produced, and directed by Stanley Nelson. 2014. 120 minutes. Documentary about 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi.
Continue reading

Alcatraz Is Not an Island

Film. By James M. Fortier. 2001. 60 min. Documentary on a small group of Native American students and “Urban Indians” who occupied Alcatraz Island in November 1969, and how it forever changed the way Native Americans viewed themselves, their culture and their sovereign rights.
Continue reading

The Last Mountain

Film. Directed by Bill Haney. Produced by Clara Bingham and Eric Grunebaum. 95 min. 2011. Documentary on the consequences of mining and burning coal, with a focus on mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia.
Continue reading
Freedom on My Mind (Film) | Zinn Education Project

Freedom on My Mind

Film. Directed Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford. Written by Michael Chandler. 1994. 110 min. The story of the Mississippi freedom movement in the early 1960s.
Continue reading
Monumental Myths (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History

Monumental Myths

Film. Directed by Tom Trinley. 2004. 47 minutes. Inspired by the book, Lies Across America, this film presents the historic myths and facts about a few iconic monuments in the United States.
Continue reading

Gasland

Film. Directed by Josh Fox. 2010. 107 minutes. When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he crosses the country and uncovers a trail of contamination.
Continue reading

Even the Rain/También la lluvia

Film. Directed by Icíar Bollaín and written by Paul Laverty. 2010. 103 minutes. As a crew shoots a film about Columbus' genocide, local people in Cochabamba, Bolivia rise up against plans to privatize the water supply.
Continue reading