National Unity Week is about building knowledge, understanding and respect between all members of our communities. Stereotypes, prejudices and unconscious biases are things that hold all of us back, whether we know it or not. By combatting discrimination in its many forms, we will transform our neighbourhoods, streets, and workplaces into spaces where everyone is welcome.

Below is a small selection of excellent movies. These are about racism, ignorance and discrimination. The films listed below will hopefully make you laugh, maybe cry a little bit, but above all, help you realise what we can achieve once we listen to each other and work together.

Enjoy!

Et maintenant, on va où?

Where do we go now? tells the story of a community in Lebanon who are trying to remain intact despite the turmoil around them. Partially isolated from the outside world due to their remoteness, the women of the village go to extreme lengths to ensure that the men do not hear of the violent events occurring in other parts of the country.

A hilarious film, Et Maintenant, on va ou? speaks of how divides between people can be bridged once we focus on the things that we share, rather than what we don’t.

Hilarious, 12/10

Freedom Writers

Based on a true story, Freedom Writers depicts discrimination, division, poverty and gang violence at Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach California.

After an incident of racist bullying, English teacher Erin Gruwell teaches her students about the perils of racism through the Holocaust. She uses her own money to buy books and diaries for the students and gets them to write about their lives and experiences. As students gain her confidence, they share excerpts from their diaries with their classmates. This allows students of different ethnic and backgrounds, who are rivals outside of school, to understand that their experiences are not that different. They have more in common that they think.

A story of a teacher’s dedication, Freedom Writers speaks about how, if only we listen to each other, we will understand how similar we all are.

I cried three times 10/10

Hidden Figures

Three mathematicians working for NASA have to face both sexism AND racism while they are simply trying to do their job, getting man into space. Based on the true story of these three women, Hidden Figures is set during the Space Race and the Civil Rights Movement.

These women broke through gender and racial barriers, and inspired generations.

Motivating 10/10

The School That Tried to End Racism

A documentary about a school that took a radical and a sometimes-uncomfortable approach to dealing with Racism. Including interviews with teachers, students and their families, The School That Tried To End Racism is a must watch for anyone who sees that discrimination, stereotypes and racism hold all Australians back.

This can be found on ABC iview, it is a beautiful series where children shared their unfiltered views on Racism. 8/10

The Sapphires

Beginning in an outback Australian town, the Sapphires is the story of Four Yorta Yorta Indigenous Australian Women who travel through Vietnam, performing for Australian and American Soldiers. A story of war, the Stolen Generations, family and community, The Sapphires is an uplifting film that deals with so many hard topics.

Great movie, Great music, 9/10

The Merger

A sport-mad town is on the brink, they need to save their AFL club and revive the dying town. 11 year old Neil coaxes ‘town killer’ Troy into rescuing the team. With the help of Neil’s mother Angie, Troy recruits recently arrived refugees to play AFL for the team and help rebuild the club. Troy and his team face opposition and racism at every turn. namely from Angie’s father-in-law, who leads a protest the new community members, telling them to go ‘back to where they came from’.

The Merger is a hilarious Australian comedy about one kid’s love of AFL and the ability of community to welcome.

You will laugh, you will tear up, you will believe in community, 13/10

Movies to watch this National Unity Week by Memphis Bourne Blue

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