A New Year; A New Inspiration

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Happy New Year, movie fans!

If you are like us, your friends and family have probably posted their resolutions along with a handful of inspirational messages all over social media this week. If you think like us, these messages got your wheels spinning about some of your favorite inspirational movies. One great thing about movies, is that they have the potential and power to really move people to want to become better at life, better at love, and better human beings. If you are searching for a New Year’s Resolution, or if you just want to be inspired by some amazing stories, check out our list of movies below:

Kristy & Koob’s Favorite Inspirational Movies To Live By

Kristy’s Picks

1. The Times of Harvey Milk, 1984

harvey_milk

Basic Synopsis:

A documentary of the successful career and then the assassination of San Francisco’s first elected gay councilor.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

When I was a Freshman in college, I had this amazing professor who really pushed us to critically think about social justice issues. He was amazing and he really knew how to inspire us without pushing his opinions on us. I have to admit that, before college, I was largely ignorant of LGBT social movements and never really spent much time forming an opinion in regard to gay rights. This professor had us read some very poignant articles concerning gay marriage (both pro and con) and showed us this fantastic documentary. I did not know a single thing about Harvey Milk before watching this documentary but I can remember sitting in class weeping after watching all that he struggled for and learning of the bullet that ended his life. In 90 minutes I had fallen in love with Harvey Milk and all that he stood for, and immediately had my heart broken at the injustices surrounding his cold-blooded murder. I highly recommend this film (as well as the more recent film, “Milk”) to anyone even remotely interested in social justice issues, and I assure you that you will be inspired by this man’s legacy.

2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004

Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind 1

Basic Synopsis:

A couple undergo a procedure to erase each other from their memories when their relationship turns sour, but it is only through the process of loss that they discover what they had to begin with.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

Relationships are tricky. This film is an honest look at the difficulties we face in navigating love, commitment, and compromise. The story is skillfully written (it won the Oscar for Best Screenplay), the cinematography is gorgeous, and the concept is very relatable. What inspired me most was the film’s takeaway message; love is hard work. In the final scene Joel (Jim Carey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) reflect on all of their faults. Their relationship ended so badly that they both wanted to literally erase each other from their own memories, and, despite this, they decide to accept each other and allow themselves to fall in love again.  After watching this movie I realized that true love is not a fairy tale, but it it can be fulfilling, challenging and wonderful as long as we are willing to accept one another for all of our faults.

3. Food Inc., 2008

foodinc2-jpg

Basic Synopsis:

An honest look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

It is possible that I think about this movie more than any other movie that I have ever watched. Every time I walk into a food market or consider consuming a quick bite at McDonald’s, I visualize this film- and I am very grateful for these images. This film discusses everything from factory farming to food labels, and it is brutally honest about some critical information that major food producers do not want us to know. Overall, the film left me with a desire to know where my food comes from and has helped me to make decisions regarding what goes into my body. You do not have to be a vegan or a radical environmentalist to understand the importance of this film, you just have to understand that it will change the way that you look at food.

Koob’s Pick

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962

Mockingbird

Basic Synopsis:

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

Atticus Finch is one of the most inspirational figures in both literary and film history and Gregory Peck captures his essence completely in the film version.  There’s a reason he was named the #1 hero in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Heroes & Villains (http://www.afi.com/100years/handv.aspx).  He is a firm believer in the idea that all people should be treated fairly and he tries to instill this value in his children in the deep South during the depression which is no easy task.  The man is also a complete bad ass as evidenced by his standing up to an entire lynch mob and defending a black man for a crime that he didn’t commit.  His children also learn the lessons of not judging a book by its cover and not believing in rumors in the subplot involving Boo Radley.  All of these are valuable life lessons and I hope that I can take the example set forth by Atticus Finch in raising my own child someday.

2. Rocky, 1976

Rocky

Basic Synopsis:

Rocky Balboa, a small-time boxer gets a supremely rare chance to fight the heavy-weight champion, Apollo Creed, in a bout in which he strives to go the distance for his self-respect.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

Being born and raised in Philadelphia, how could I not include Rocky on this list?  Rocky is an inspiration because he sets the example that anyone can realize their dreams as long as they work hard enough and are determined enough.  Rocky doesn’t win in the end but he inspired thousands of people in his neighborhood and his city and gave people hope.  As anyone who is a sports fan knows, hope is the thing that keeps us watching year after year despite the odds being against our team winning it all.  I also love the way that sports can bring a whole city or community together and gives everyone a common bond that they can connect with and the Rocky movies epitomize that feeling.

3. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, 1975

Cuckoos Nest

Basic Synopsis:

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

What This Movie Has Inspired In Me:

This is my favorite movie of all time and probably also the one the inspires me most.  It definitely goes back to the theme of all people being treated fairly and equally no matter what their station in life.  In this film, Randall P. McMurphy inspires all of the other inmates in a psychiatric ward to learn to have confidence in themselves and to stand up for things and take control of their own lives.  There are so many inspirational scenes in this movie that I love and I highly recommend watching it if you have not seen it already.  It also gives a pretty good look at the horrors of electroshock therapy and actually played a role in it being used much less often in mainstream mental health care.

We hope that you are inspired to check out a few of these movies and we would love it if you would like to add a few more to the list in the comments section.

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One thought on “A New Year; A New Inspiration

  1. I loved To Kill a mocking bird one of my all time favorites Atticus Finch rocks !!!

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