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Here is a selection of the best films to watch on UK Netflix if you have a passion for being an active, global citizen!

  1. First They Killed My Father

This is a true story directed by Angelina Jolie. It is not only beautifully shot on location and has a gripping story, but you also learn a lot about Cambodian history and culture and why just 40 years ago the Khmer Rouge regime was able to take hold of the country and commit genocide, killing millions of Cambodians. Prepare to be wowed by this masterpiece (but make sure you have the tissues ready).

  1. White Helmets

The Syrian Civil Defence, known as the “white helmets” because of their distinctive headgear, were followed by cameras as daily airstrikes target civilians. These first responders risk their lives to rescue victims from the rubble and take you on a 41-minute journey where you’ll feel anger, sadness and joy all in one go.

  1. India’s Daughter

You may have heard about gender-based violence in India. This disturbing, but revealing, documentary tells the story of a medical student’s rape and murder and how it sparked widespread protests across the country. The day it was released, the film was banned by the Indian government, but you can watch it here on Netflix in the UK for yourself.

  1. Beasts of No Nation

Idris Elba executes a stunning performance in this Netflix original. Although the film is based on the fictional book of the same name (which was set in Sierra Leone), there are very real themes running through it of conflict and abuse. Filmed in Ghana, it’s visually stunning as well as being emotional and gripping.

  1. The Square

You probably know the term “Arab Spring”; the revolutionary wave of both violent and non-violent demonstrations, protests, riots, coups, foreign interventions, and civil wars in North Africa and the Middle East. This beautiful, yet intense, documentary gives you the story of a small group of protesters in Egypt. It is also the first ever Egyptian film to be nominated for an Academy Award, but it has never been screened in its home country. You can watch it here on Netflix now.


Corina Pickering is a Network Support Officer for Restless Development UK, working on the ICS programme and other campaigns.

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