Movies and documentaries about human rights


Do you want to learn more about human rights defenders around the world, and their accomplishments?
As part of our #FromHateToHope campaign, we have collected some recommendations for movies and documentaries about human rights. This list is perfect for young people to learn more about human rights defenders around the world!



  • Desert Flower (2009) – Desert Flower tells the story of Waris Dirie and follows her journey from anomadic pastoralist background in Somalia to a new life and career in the West as a fashion model and activist against female genital mutilation.
  • Beasts of No Nation (2015) – Follows the journey of a young boy, Agu, who is forced to join a group of soldiers in a fictional West African country. While Agu fears his commander and many of the men around him, his fledgling childhood has been brutally shattered by the war raging through his country, and he is at first torn between conflicting revulsion and fascination. Depicts the mechanics of war and does not shy away from explicit, visceral detail, and paints a complex, difficult picture of Agu as a child soldier.
  • I am Slave (2016) – Inspired by a true story. I am Slave shows the reality of modern-day slavery. Malia, age 12, is taken from her home in Sudan and sold into slavery, first in her own country and six years later in London. With the help of a stranger, she manages to escape.
  • Selma (2014) – Selma tells the story of Martin Luther King’s battle for equal voting rights in America, spanning a three-month period in 1965. The movie touches many important subjects, like racism, discrimination, human rights, and the power of grassroots activism.
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013) – Tells the story of Nelson Mandela’s life, from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.



  • The White Helmets (2016) -As daily airstrikes pound civilian targets in Syria, a group of first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble.
  • The Square (2013) – ‘The Square’ is an intimate observational documentary that tells the real story of the ongoing struggle of the Egyptian Revolution through the eyes of six very different protesters.
  • Call me Kuchu (2012) – In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato – Uganda’s first openly gay man – and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the legislation while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one, not even the filmmakers, is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes the movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.