Inspiring Global Health Films

This is a crowd-sourced list of over 75 inspiring, must-watch movies focused on global health topics

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As I get ready to teach my global health course online this year, I wanted to compile a list of great movies focused on global health topics.

I posed the question on Twitter and received a large number of suggestions. Here is the compilation of over 75 films (as of June 2021) recommended by a variety of people. I have provided a hyperlink to a website with more details on each movie. The list is alphabetically organized using the movie title.

I am grateful to all those who contributed to this list. I will aim to keep it updated, roughly on a quarterly basis, as I am doing with a similar list of global health books.

Happy viewing!

Title of the film

Directors

Link

A doctor’s dream: A pill for sleeping sickness

 

DNDi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tk31iucWYdE

And The Band Played On

Roger Spottiswoode

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106273/

Antibiotic resistance 

Nitai Steinberg

https://youtu.be/yHs0GyLNSLg 

Awakenings

Penny Marshall

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099077/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2

Be Your Sisters' Keeper

Maisha Fiti

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDH3gP0MAeA&feature=emb_logo

Bending The Arc

Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos

https://bendingthearcfilm.com/ (now on Netflix)

Birth In Nepal

Subina Shrestha

https://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2010/05/20105372154435803.html

C'era una volta la città dei matti (There was once the city of the mad

Marco Turco

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1600395/

Chernobyl (2019)

Craig Mazin

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7366338/

Contagion

Steven Soderbergh

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1598778/

Dallas Buyers Club

Jean-Marc Vallee

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0790636/

Dark Waters

Todd Haynes

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9071322/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Dirty Pretty Things

Stephen Frears

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0301199/

Doctors of War

Nathaniel Lippiett

https://vimeo.com/482241529 

El Susto!

Karen Akins

https://elsustomovie.com/

Erin Brockovich

Steven Soderbergh

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0195685/

Escape Fire

Susan Froemke, Matthew Heineman

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2093109/

Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Tapan Sinha

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0345177/

Fire In The Blood

Dylan Mohan Gray

https://fireintheblood.com/

For Sama

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts

https://www.forsamafilm.com/

From Durban To Tomorrow

Dylan Mohan Gray

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt11709738/

Ganashatru

Satyajit Ray

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganashatru

God Loves Uganda

Roger Ross Williams

https://www.godlovesuganda.com/

Hear Our Voices - Mental Health in a Developing World

Programme for Improving Mental Healthcare (PRIME)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbpncXY1WtA&feature=emb_logo

Heroines of Health

Lisa Russell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpVzvY636TA&feature=youtu.be

Hospital

Kesang Tseten Lama

https://www.idfa.nl/en/film/738a7b45-015e-4ebe-8074-c1da0878db17/hospital/docs-for-sale

How I Live

Meghan Shea and Mike Rogers

https://www.howilivewithcancer.com/

How To Survive A Plague

David France

https://surviveaplague.com/

I Am Belmaya

Sue Carpenter

https://belmaya.com/ 

Inside Story

Rolie Nikiwe

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2231299/

In Our Hands

Millie Harvey

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jKVTXXSAhY#action=share

Knock on my door

The Specialty Hospital in Jordaan and produced by Fawzi Al Hammouri, Abdullah Haymour and Rania Al Shadeed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2c02hiAsvY&feature=emb_logo 

Life and Debt

Stephanie Black

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284262/

Life In A Day

 

Kevin Macdonald

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaFVr_cJJIY&feature=youtu.be&has_verified=1

Limbo

Saw Eh Doh Poe, Nann Win May Aye and Nwaye Zar Che Soe

https://youtu.be/o88NgiKgFy4 

Living without limits

BBC StoryWorks for the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

https://youtu.be/ew3nApbKtXc 

Living in Emergency

Mark Hopkins

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1294182/

Lovesick

Ann S. Kim & Priya Giri Desai

https://lovesickthefilm.com/

Man Facing Southeast

Eliseo Subiela

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Facing_Southeast

Medicine Man

John McTiernan

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104839/

Merchants Of Doubt

Robert Kenner

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchants_of_Doubt_(film)

Minutes To Die

James Reid

http://minutestodie.com/

Nasrin

Jeff Kaufman

https://www.nasrinfilm.com/

Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS

Harriet Hirshorn

http://womanatthereel.com/

Outbreak

Wolfgang Petersen

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0114069/

Out of Breath

Hein Seok

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8207890/

Parasite

Bong Joon Ho

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6751668/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Period. End of Sentence.

Rayka Zehtabchi

https://thepadproject.org/period-end-of-sentence/

Phir Milenge

Revathi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phir_Milenge

Pili

Sophie Harman & Leanne Welham

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5827020/

Pills Profits Protest

Shanti Avirgan

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0445042/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Poverty, Inc.

Michael Matheson Miller

https://www.povertyinc.org/

Priya's Mask

Ram Devineni & Shubhra Prakash

https://www.priyashakti.com/priyas-mask 

Rabbit- Proof Fence

Phillip Noyce

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0252444/

Resistance

Michael Graziano

https://vimeo.com/113626890

RX for Survival: A Global Health Challenge

Gail Willumsen

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472972/

!Salud!

Connie Field

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0985667/

Sema

Macherie Ekwa Bahango

https://www.mukwegefoundation.org/semafilm/

Ship of Theseus

Anand Gandhi

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1773764/

Sicko

Michael Moore

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386032/

Something Like a War

 

Deepa Dhanraj

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0307481/

Smile Pinki

Megan Mylan

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1360065/

State of Mind

 

Hopewell Chin'ono

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XKAkTmPZSs&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

Survivors

Arthur Pratt

https://www.survivorsfilm.com/

That Sugar Film

Damon Gameau

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3892434/

The Devil We know

Stephanie Soechtig

https://thedevilweknow.com/ 

The Insider

Michael Mann

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0140352/

The Lucky Specials

Rea Rangaka 

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6223432/

The Physician

Philipp Stölzl

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2101473/

The Lazarus Effect

David Gelb

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2918436/

The Constant Gardener

Fernando Meirelles

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387131/

TISHALA: Nothing to Lose Emmanuel Yegon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBtXD2n5lak&feature=youtu.be

Toilet. A Love Story

Shree Narayan Singh

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5785170/

The Life Equation

Rob Tinworth

http://lifeequationinteractive.com/tle-film/

The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre) 

Benoit Pilon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Necessities_of_Life

Tigers

 Danis Tanovic

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3004774/

The Price of Free

Derek Doneen

https://priceoffree.com/

Township Yogi

Peter Matthews

https://www.townshipyogi.org/

United in Anger

Jim Hubbard

https://www.unitedinanger.com/

Unmasked: We All Breathe

Janet Tobias

https://vimeo.com/315337117

Virus (2019)

Aashiq Abu

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8941440/

War & Grace

Sonia Lowman

https://youtu.be/di2pYCcxT0U 

We Were Here

David Weissman

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Were_Here_(film)

Welcome To Sodom

Florian Weigensamer & Christian Krönes

http://www.welcome-to-sodom.com/

What Doesn't Kill Me

Rachel Meyrick

https://www.whatdoesntkillme.com/ 

What The Health

Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5541848/

WOMENstruate

Lauren Anders Brown

https://vimeo.com/339680104

Yellow Card

John Riber

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0275802/

93 Days

Steve Gukas

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5305246/

Madhukar Pai

Associate Director, McGill International TB Centre

I am a Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University, Montreal. I serve as the Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre. URL: http://www.paitbgroup.org/

Comments

Go to the profile of Onaoluwa Abimbola
12 months ago

Wow!  I'm so behind with movies.  Only ever  heard of two before - Contagion and 93 days (Stella Adadevoh of Nigeria'a Ebola story I think) , but not watched any of them.

Go to the profile of Himadri Bhusan Bal
12 months ago

Sir,

You made my task easy. 

Can you add another two movies to the list

Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
The Story of Louis Pasteur