Empathy Generating Machines: Films that Shape Our Humanity

When it comes to the discussion of what effect pop culture media, more specifically, film, has on the collective opinions and attitudes of society and vice versa, we often tend to highlight the more negative aspects and examples. From the glorification of acts of violence such as gunplay and brute force, to the perpetuation of unrealistic, limiting and harmful expectations regarding gender roles. 

However, for this particular list, I’d like to highlight films that can have positive effects on people’s lives. To be more specific, films that show prominent examples of;

A) Empathy, the ability to share and understand the feelings and emotions of others, and/or

B) Solidarity, in which people from diverse backgrounds find a common cause and work…

  • The Kid
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Bicycle Thieves
  • Ikiru
  • On the Waterfront
  • Pather Panchali
  • Nights of Cabiria
  • The 400 Blows
  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  • A Taste of Honey
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
  • This Sporting Life
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Persona
  • Hell in the Pacific
  • Kes
  • Harold and Maude
  • Silent Running
  • Robin Hood
  • Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles
  • Harlan County U.S.A.
  • Blue Collar
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Watership Down
  • Norma Rae
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  • The Elephant Man
  • The Fox and the Hound
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  • The Secret of NIMH
  • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
  • The NeverEnding Story
  • Paris, Texas
  • Starman
  • Enemy Mine
  • The Journey of Natty Gann
  • My Beautiful Laundrette
  • Penguin's Memory: A Tale of Happiness
  • An American Tail
  • Short Circuit
  • Stand by Me
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • True Stories
  • Amazing Grace and Chuck
  • *batteries not included
  • Empire of the Sun
  • Harry and the Hendersons
  • Where Is The Friend's House?
  • My Neighbor Totoro
  • Grave of the Fireflies
  • The Land Before Time
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
  • Do the Right Thing
  • A Brighter Summer Day
  • The Big Green
  • Friendship's Field
  • La Promesse
  • Matilda
  • Men in Black
  • Princess Mononoke
  • Taste of Cherry
  • Kirikou and the Sorceress
  • The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
  • No More Baths
  • The Thin Red Line
  • The Green Mile
  • The Iron Giant
  • Magnolia
  • The Wind Will Carry Us
  • Code Unknown
  • The Color of Friendship
  • Yi Yi
  • Band of Brothers
  • Y Tu Mamá También
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Morvern Callar
  • Oasis
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • The Son
  • Whale Rider
  • Holes
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • The Child
  • Kirikou and the Wild Beasts
  • Life in the Undergrowth
  • Stormy Night
  • Children of Men
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Ratatouille
  • Be Kind Rewind
  • Frozen River
  • Happy-Go-Lucky
  • Still Walking
  • WALL·E
  • Wendy and Lucy
  • Amreeka
  • Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement
  • Mary and Max
  • Up