As this year’s 2021: Resilience Themester comes to a close, students and faculty are heading home for winter break. Looking for something to watch? This list of resilience-related films and shows includes a few familiar favorites from the semester’s partnerships with IU Cinema as well as some fresh choices. Check them out on streaming services below.
Wall-E – Family, Comedy
In this 2007 Disney Pixar animated feature, a lovable robot plays a key role in helping humankind find its way back to a positive relationship with the natural world – and finds love along the way. Read Themester intern Abby Carmichael’s essay on the film here, and watch the family favorite on Disney Plus.
Vai – Drama
Tubi, Vudu (It is also available to rent on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Google Play)
The conclusion of IU Cinema’s Islands of Resilience series, Vai tells the story of one woman, played by eight actors, at eight different stages of life. The film was shot in seven different Pacific countries and captures the beauty of each setting while also demonstrating the resilience of indigenous culture.
After you’ve watched this film, check out the accompanying IU Cinema discussion with filmmakers Matasila Freshwater and Marina Alofagia McCartney, Natasha Saelua, IU doctoral candidate and founding board member of the national advocacy organization Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, and Dr. David Stringer (IU Department of Second Language Studies), who curated the film series.
The Chair – Comedy, Drama
In a six-part miniseries, Sandra Oh plays the first woman of color to chair the English department at an established university. Offering many opportunities to reflect on the ever-changing world of higher education, The Chair gives viewers the chance to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the culture of academia, and particularly how it responds to social change.
Dark Waters – Drama
Hulu (with Showtime add-on)
Presented initially as part of IU Cinema’s partnership with Themester, Dark Waters is a dramatization of the career of environmental lawyer Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) who came to fame in connection with his uncovering of contamination caused by “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.
The Color Purple – Historical Drama
Directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring Whoopi Goldberg, The Color Purple tells the story of a Black woman facing poverty, violence, and adversity. Based on Alice Walker’s 1892 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and later turned into a Broadway musical, the film addresses cleavages in America at the turn of the 20th century.
Gather – Documentary
Also presented as part of Themester’s collaboration with IU Cinema, Gather explores Native American cultural, spiritual, and political identities in the context of the trauma of genocide. The film devotes particular attention to food sovereignty and how it can aid in the rediscovery and reclamation of Native identities.