A documentary film list about social change.

Films with the Racism tag:

Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon [2015]

Police Brutality Racism Oregon

Media artists and social activists Jodi Darby, Julie Perini, and Erin Yanke’s film speaks to the history of police violence in our society, providing a framework for understanding the systems of social control in Portland and its history of exclusion laws, racial profiling, redlining, and gentrification practices. Through conversations with community leaders that include Walidah Imarisha, author of the “Oregon Black History Timeline,” JoAnn Hardesty, and Rev. LeRoy Haynes of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice & Police Reform, Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch, and Kent Ford, founder of the Portland Chapter of the Black Panther Party, the filmmakers explore alternatives to current policing practices and consider strategies for community safety that do not employ constant surveillance and unneeded violence.




Black Panthers [1968]

Black Power Racism

This riveting documentary, transports you to the pivotal Free Huey rally held on February 17th, 1968, at Oakland Auditorium in Alameda, California. Newton, the charismatic young college student who, along with Bobby Seale, created the Black Panther Party, had been jailed for allegedly killing a police officer. His arrest–widely believed at the time to be a setup–galvanized Party support throughout the nation and led to a boom in Party membership, bringing a new level of public attention to the Panthers’ cause.




Concerning Violence [2014]

Africa Revolution Racism

The film narrates the events of African nationalist and independence movements in the 1960s and 1970s which challenged colonial and white minority rule.




Eyes on the Prize [1987]

Civil Rights Voting Rights Racism

Eyes on the Prize is an award-winning 14-hour television series produced by Blackside and narrated by Julian Bond. Through contemporary interviews and historical footage, the series covers all of the major events of the civil rights movement from 1954-1985.




Ferguson: A Report From Occupied Territory [2015]

Racism BLM Police Brutality

In the Fusion documentary Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory, we turn to the residents of St. Louis County to tell us what it’s like to be racially profiled and under siege.




Freedom on My Mind [1994]

Civil Rights Mississippi Voting Rights Racism

In 1961 Mississippi was a virtual South African enclave within the United States. Everything is segregated. There are virtually no black voters. Bob Moses, enters the state and the Voter Registration Project begins. The first black farmer who attempts to register is fatally shot by a Mississippi State Representative. But four years later, the registration is open. By 1990, Mississippi has more elected black officials than any other state in the union.




Freedom Riders [2010]

Racism Civil Rights

This is the story of more than four hundred Americans who participated in a bold and dangerous experiment designed to awaken the conscience of a complacent nation. These self-proclaimed, 'Freedom Riders' challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act.




I Am Not Your Negro [2017]

Civil Rights Racism

Working from the text of James Baldwin’s unfinished final novel, director Raoul Peck creates a meditation on what it means to be Black in the United States.




Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992 [2017]

Racism Los Angeles Police Brutality

An in-depth look at the culture of Los Angeles in the ten years leading up to the 1992 uprising that erupted after the verdict of police officers cleared of beating Rodney King.




Ninth Floor [2015]

Racism Canada

In her first feature-length documentary, director Mina Shum (Double Happiness) takes a penetrating look at the Sir George Williams University riot of February 1969, when a protest against institutional racism snowballed into a 14-day student occupation at the Montreal university.




The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 [2011]

Civil Rights Black Power Racism

Examines the evolution of the Black Power Movement in American society from 1967 to 1975. It features footage of the movement shot by Swedish journalists in America during that period and includes the appearances of Bobby Seale, Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and other activists, artists, and leaders central to the movement.




Whose Streets? [2017]

St. Louis Police Brutality Racism BLM

A nonfiction account of the Ferguson uprising told by the people who lived it, this is an unflinching look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back—and sparked a global movement.