The movies we have chosen for you this week have generally two things in common. In each movie a main character takes courageous action, and all the movies are based on true incidents, which makes them that much more admirable. All these movies became succesful at the box office, earning awards – and in some cases nominations for awards – for their producers.
Erin Brockovich (2000)
Julia Roberts, still great and again she proves that she is not just that lucky prostitute from Pretty Woman, the movie that first made her famous. In this movie she plays Erin, the central character and a single mother of three children with a very specific and direct approach to life. After countless attempts, she gets an inconspicuous position as a secretary in an advocacy company. Erin is ready to defend her newly-acquired job at any cost, and when a trivial case of groundwater contamination appears and she is entrusted with it, she quickly takes her chance. The local power company has been polluting the surrounding area with poisonous chromium and is now trying to sweep the evidence out of view by bribing the gradually ailing residents of the area with minor medical benefits, without considering real financial sacrifices to propose a solid compensation for irreparably damaged people.
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
History repeats itself again and again, and people always ask the same question: How could that happen? How many conflicts have there been, and how many undocumented heroes have saved hundreds or even thousands of human lives? Here is another one. In 1994, more than one million civilians were killed in Rwanda in one of the worst genocides since 1945. A hotel manager, Paul Rusesabagin, squeezes 1268 of the refugees into his otherwise posh hotel and manages to save their lives. A low number, comparatively? But how important is it, really?
An exceptional film based on the exceptional story of an extraordinary bond between two siblings. Betty Waters (Hillary Swank) lives an ordinary life until her brother Kenny (Sam Rockwell) is convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Her absolute confidence in her brother’s innocence and her determiniation to prove it is touching and admirable. Betty starts looking for evidence, nearly loses her own family as they run out of patience, and eventually even graduates from law school, all to prove the innocence of her beloved brother and set him free. No wonder this is one of the most inspiring movies in recent years.
The Imitation Game (2014)
Without breaking the Enigma code, World War II might have lasted at least a few years longer than it did. This was achieved after a lengthy effort, beginning with the partial success of Polish military intelligence in 1932. Unfortunately the code was then further secured by the German Millitary. The effort was then taken up by British millitary Intelligence with professor of mathematics and cryptanalyst Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) taking the leading position together with his similarly great colleague, the emancipated Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley). The film is set in 1952 in England, when Alan Turing is arrested. His real identity as a war hero is revealed retrospectively and very gradually.
Captain Philips (2013)
Some laws simply make very little sense, and the one that doesn’t allow ship crews to carry guns to protect themselves against pirates is one of them. Unable to defend themselves against the recurrent pirate kidnappings, and given very limited legal support, the crew does nothing but watch helplessly as they and their huge ship are taken over by a primitive motor boat, equipped with the necessary guns and under the command of owners who are not afraid to use them.
Captain Phillips is studying the case of the American cargo ship Maersk Alabama and its kidnapping by Somali pirates. The central plot studies the relationship between the cargo ship’s captain, Richard Phillips (Tom Hanks), and the leader of the Somali pirates, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him as a hostage into a life boat.
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