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.

February One

Film. Produced by Dr. Steven Channing. 2004. 61 min. The story surrounding the 1960 Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins.
Continue reading

Freedom Song

Film. By Phil Alden Robinson. 2006. 117 min. Based on the actual history of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), student activism, and voter registration in McComb, Mississippi, during the Civil Rights Movement.
Continue reading

Golden Lands, Working Hands

Film. By Fred Glass for the California Federation of Teachers. 1999. 170 minutes. Ten-part film series brings the hidden history of working people in California to light, from the Gold Rush through the present.
Continue reading

Granito de Arena/Grain of Sand

Film. Produced by Jill Freidberg. Corrugated Films. 2005. 62 min. Documentary about teachers, parents, and students fighting to defend Mexico's public education system from the impacts of economic globalization.
Continue reading

The Good Soldier

Film. Directed by Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys. 2009. 79 minutes. Documentary that offers examples of these too-often-forgotten "good soldiers" who, in different ways, tried to follow their consciences.
Continue reading


Film. Written and directed by John Sayles. 1987. 132 minutes. A feature film depicting a strike in a mining town in Appalachia and the struggle for solidarity across racial lines.
Continue reading

The Murder of Emmett Till

Film. Produced and directed by Stanley Nelson. 2003. 60 min. Documentary on the murder of teenager Emmett Till and the actions of Mamie Till Bradley which helped launch the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Continue reading

Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968

Film. Produced by Judy Richardson and Bestor Cram. 2009. 57 minutes. A documentary film that brings to light the story of the attack by state police on a demonstration in Orangeburg, South Carolina -- leaving three students killed and 28 injured.
Continue reading

Soldiers of Conscience

Film. By Catherine Ryan and Gary Weimberg. 2007. 86 min. Documentary about war, peace, and U.S. soldiers in Iraq, from active military to conscientious objectors, wrestling with conscience over killing in war.
Continue reading

Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Economy

Film. Produced by National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. 2001. 28 minutes. Stories of three immigrants (from Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines) to the U.S. and how global institutions and multi-national corporations erode people's capacity to survive in their home countries.
Continue reading

Viva La Causa

Film. Bill Brummel Productions. 2008. 39 minutes. A documentary film and teaching guide on the grape strike and boycott led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s.
Continue reading
Walkout (Film) | Zinn Education Project: Teaching People's History


Film. Produced by Moctesuma Esparza. 2006. 111 minutes. Walkout tells the true story of the Chicano students of East L.A., who in 1968 staged several dramatic walkouts in their high schools to protest academic prejudice and dire school conditions.
Continue reading