Justice in Culture

In the last few years justice issues have come to the front of popular opinion and culture. Whether it was Bono and his work on AIDS in Africa or a news article, more and more people are looking for practical way to improve the situation of everyone all over the globe and especially fighting injustices. Popular culture has used the power of story to fan the flames of these issues on the popular level. While you have probably already seen films like Amazing Grace, Hotel Rwanda, Crash and Blood Diamond, there are many less well-known films that also engage the audience on issues of justice and tell stories of what that can and may look like. Here is are a few that I think are worth watching and discussing.

  • When it comes to issue of justice the “must-see” film is the classic Gandhi – the story of his remarkable non-violent fight against injustice.
  • Spike Lee’s When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts tells of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, both personally and politically.
  • Sophie Scholl: The Final Days – A small group of college students stand up to Nazi Germany.
  • Girl in the Cafe and Michael Clayton ask the question: in our giant bureaucratic/corporate system is justice still possible?
  • North Country – one woman’s struggle to find acceptance working in a mine
  • Catch a Fire – tells of the fight against apartheid in South Africa.
  • Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room – One of the biggest corporate injustices ever.
  • The Constant Gardener – shows the integral connection between the developed world and the developing world.

Also, Ben Harper’s Both Sides of the Gun is a great album that deals with issues of justice intelligently.

Greg Veltman


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