Movies have been made about just everything, including movies about international politics. Regardless of how factual or believable they are, movies about international politics are a great way to see how the media portrays these relations and how people react to them. Although there are so many to choose from, here is a list of some of my favorite movies about international politics.
This award-winning movie is the perfect one to start off our list of movies about international politics. Directed by official hottie Ben Affleck, it tells the story of a CIA operative attempting to rescue U.S. hostages during the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979. This movie has been widely acclaimed and was nominated for 7 Oscars. It is an intense thriller and is a good depiction of how much undercover work goes into international relations.
2. Apocalypse Now
Set during the Vietnam War, Apocalypse Now is about a U.S. Captain played by Marlon Brando, who is assigned the task of taking down a renegade Colonel who has gone AWOL and is presumed to be insane. This film has been considered “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” by the National Film Registry for its unique perception of war. The Vietnam War was highly controversial at the time, as was this film. Regardless, it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.
3. The Manchurian Candidate
Originally made in 1962 and remade in 2004, it is about a prolific right-wing family's son, who has been brainwashed into becoming an assassin on behalf of a communist conspiracy. This story was written during the Red Scare during the '60s, in which paranoia of communism was rampant across the US. Regardless of which version of the movie you prefer, they both do a very good job of portraying the intensity to which America was scared of foreign communist infiltration during that time.
4. Battle of Algiers
Another one of the great movies about international politics is the Battle of Algiers. It portrays the fight between Algerian Independence Movement and the French Government during the Algerian War in the '50s and '60s. It has been considered an important documentation of the use of guerrilla warfare during this time and was even banned in France for a few years because of its depiction of the conflict. Despite that, it has claimed 120th place in Empire Magazine's list of “500 Greatest Movies of All Time.”
5. Children of Men
This is one of my favorite movies not only because I love Clive Owen, but also because it is an eye-opening depiction of what would happen were a pandemic to sweep across the planet. In this movie, fertility has stopped for the past 19 years and pandemonium has taken over Europe. A key part of this movie is the relationship between nations as governments collapse and chaos reigns. It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards, including Best Film Editing and Best Cinematography.
6. District 9
Okay, so this is technically about inter-species relations; but it is still a good parallel for the problem of refugees that many nations are currently dealing with. As aliens crash land in South Africa, refugee camps are set up in District 9 and the government limits the living situations of these “refugees.” It is a great commentary on how governments treat incoming foreign refugees and has been nominated for many Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
7. Internationally Speaking
This is probably one of my favorite documentaries as well as one of my favorite movies about international politics. Individuals from all around the world give their perception of America, the positive and the negative. This is an incredibly eye opening movie as it deals with how other people view the American public and government.
Although many movies about international politics may exaggerate or make humor out of the situations they portray, there is some fact in all of it. International relations can be a touchy subject that can end up messy sometimes. What are some of your favorite movies about international politics? Do you think these movies do a good job of portraying international politics? Do you prefer fictitious films or documentaries about international politics?