The Best Social Change Documentaries of 2011
By Tim Hjersted / filmsforaction.org

2011 will likely be remembered in America as the year that the nation's youth finally started to wake up - all that bubbling knowledge of the world's problems, all the discontent and disillusion with our broken system finally burst into a flurry of creative action. Our understandings of the deep, structural flaws in our economy, politics and culture reached new heights of collective awareness, and this collective understanding has given way to collective action in a myriad of movements. 

Among them: Occupy Wall St, Zeitgeist, Transition Towns, Permaculture, Relocalization, and 350.org. While they each focus on a different aspect of the problem, they share a common foundation of understanding, a common direction, and complimentary goals.

Likewise, the films of 2011 captured the spirit of these movements and the deep analysis of both the problem and the solutions - which go beyond hacking at branches to address the root issues.

Without further ado, the 10 best activist documentaries of 2011 (click the links to watch them for free online):

Subconscious War is a short documentary on media, reality, and the culture of violence, It covers the prophecies of Aldous Huxley and Neil Postman's grim assessment of our Brave New World and relates these to our violence and the cultural influences that fosters it today.
This documentary explains the nature of capitalist crisis, visits the protests against austerity measures, and recommends revolutionary paths for the future.
Directed by Franklin Lopez, END:CIV examines our culture’s addiction to systematic violence and environmental exploitation, and probes the resulting epidemic of poisoned landscapes and shell-shocked nations.Based in part on Endgame, the best-selling book by Derrick Jensen, END: CIV asks: If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and...
A series of BBC films about how humans have been colonised by the machines we have built. Although we don't realise it, the way we see everything in the world today is through the eyes of the computers. 
The Tea Party movement has taken American politics by storm. But is this truly a populist uprising or one of the greatest feats of propaganda ever seen? Seeking to find out, Australian filmmaker Taki Oldham embeds himself in the Tea Party uprising.
A feature length documentary by Peter Joseph that presents the case for a needed transition out of the current socioeconomic monetary paradigm which governs the entire world society.
Scott Noble, who also produced Lifting the Veil, pulls together a combination of internet and original footage to create the first feature-length documentary on Occupy Wall St, telling the story and motivation behind the movement in its own words.
The Crisis of Civilization is a documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system.
This film explores the historical role of the Democratic Party as the "graveyard of social movements", the massive influence of corporate finance in elections, the absurd disparities of wealth in the United States, the escalation of neocon policies under Obama...
Going local’ is a powerful strategy to repair our fractured world—our ecosystems, our societies and our selvesEconomic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking.
4.7 · 5
What's Next
Related
Load Comments (6)
Trending Today
These Are The Voices From Syria We Should Be Listening To
5 min · 8,168 views today · For 5 years the media has silenced the people of Syria, and given their voice to politicians from all sides. Time for that to end!
Love Liberates
5 min · 6,427 views today · Words to live by from Dr. Maya Angelou. Love each other.
DISOBEDIENCE: The Courage To Break Free (2016)
41 min · 2,803 views today · Disobedience is a new film about a new phase of the climate movement: courageous action that is being taken on the front lines of the climate crisis on every continent, led by...
The Greening of the Self: The Most Important Development of Modern Times
Joanna Macy · 2,735 views today · Something important is happening in our world that you are not going to read about in the newspapers. I consider it the most fascinating and hopeful development of our time...
Corporate Media Admits Bernie Sanders Is a Strong(Er) General Election Candidate
4 min · 2,685 views today · The blackout on Bernie is starting to end.
Deep Anger: We need to rediscover something we lost along the way
Darren Fleet and Stefanie Krasnow · 2,658 views today · In a better world, there’d be no reason to write this. In that world, plastic bags would be outlawed, rednecks would voluntarily stop driving those obnoxious Ford F-350s and...
For First Time Ever, a Majority of People Identify as 'Global Citizens'
Nadia Prupis · 2,632 views today · People around the world are increasingly identifying as global citizens, according to a new BBC poll that shines a light on changing attitudes about immigration, inequality...
Marx Is Back - A fictional mini-series based on the Communist Manifesto
55 min · 2,612 views today · "Marx Is Back" takes place in todays' Argentina, which suffers like other countries the blows of economic crises. Workers of a printing house are facing suspensions and...
Yes, It's Okay to Talk About Climate Change Right Now
Nicholas Ellan · 2,566 views today · With the largest evacuation in the history of the province of Alberta displacing nearly 100 000 people as large sections of Fort McMurray burn to the ground in the middle of a...
What Is Addiction? - Gabor Maté
3 min · 2,180 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté talks about the root causes of addiction and how to deal with them.
Who Are You? This Breathtaking Video Might Change Your Life
2 min · 2,172 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Why the Economy Should Stop Growing-And Just Grow Up
David Korten · 2,149 views today · “How do we grow the economy?” is an obsolete question. Local initiatives across the world are looking for maturity instead as they rebuild caring, place-based communities and...
Hacking Planned Obsolescence Through the Art of Repairing Not Replacing
Ute Scheub · 1,724 views today · At the Repair and Service Center in Vienna, the long-term unemployed retrain to be "mechatronic engineers" and repair electronic devices. Founder Sepp Eisenriegler tirelessly...
27 Honest Questions for Hillary Supporters
Kris Seto · 1,242 views today · To those who are supporting Hillary Clinton, I love you. And while I know that we’re technically on the same side fighting against a terrifying Republican reality, it seems...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 768 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into A Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 737 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
2016 Presidential Election Reality Check
2 min · 668 views today · "It IS class warfare and first class is winning."
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 619 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Lawrence, KS Mayor Declares Oct. 12 Indigenous Peoples' Day in Place of Columbus Day
Jessica Larson · 594 views today · After years of protesting, the Native American community can officially celebrate Indigenous Peoples' Day in place of Columbus Day in Lawrence. At the City Commission meeting...
Why Men Are So Obsessed with Sex
Steve Bearman · 472 views today · Have you ever encountered a baby whose gender is unknown to you?
Load More
Like us on Facebook?