12 Must-See Films on Diversity and Inclusion

Do you like movies that have inclusive and thought-provoking messages? If so, this list is for you!
12 Must-See Films on Diversity and Inclusion
Elena Sanz

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Elena Sanz.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

Diversity comes from the Latin diversitas, which refers to variety or the existence of different things. In human beings, we relate it to people of different origins, races, religions, sexual orientations, backgrounds, abilities, and even ways of thinking. In this article, you’ll find movies about diversity and inclusion that everyone should watch in order to reflect on these issues.

Diversity exists and it enriches societies. However, throughout history (including our current times) there have been times of intolerance and discrimination towards people who are different.

In this sense, inclusion plays a fundamental role and refers to the ability to recognize all human beings as equal in dignity and encourage their participation in different scenarios. UNESCO encourages inclusive education systems that take into account the diversity of students and their needs, abilities, and particularities.

Films are artistic means that can be used to learn about history and reflect on different situations. In this sense, they become excellent tools for transmitting values and raising awareness of unfamiliar situations.

The following films are ideal for reflecting on diversity and the importance of inclusion in society.

1. Movies about diversity and inclusion: The Theory of Everything

This is one of the best movies about diversity and inclusion, as it tells the story of one of the most brilliant minds of all times: physicist Stephen Hawking. This man is known for contributing to the knowledge of the physical laws that govern the universe.

At a young age, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In this movie, we can see the story of his life, both from a personal and academic level.

2. The Untouchables

This is a very funny French comedy that tells a story of friendship between two people with totally different origins and backgrounds. It’s inspired by Count Philippe Pozzo di Borgo, who became a quadriplegic after an accident, and Abdel Yasmin Sellou, an African immigrant who was his personal assistant.

It’s a film that will make you laugh out loud and, at the same time, reflect on the richness of diversity. It also shows how it’s possible for two people from two different backgrounds, an aristocrat and an ex-president, to become great friends.

Racial differences have been a source of injustice throughout history. Movies that celebrate friendship between people of different cultures help to combat hatred.

3. Forrest Gump

This is one of the most popular movies ever. It tells the story of a boy from Alabama who has a cognitive disability. Because of this, he receives a lot of ridicule and rejection. However, the film tells the story of how the man transforms his life and achieves some extraordinary feats.

In addition, the film shows historical episodes, such as the Vietnam War and the Watergate scandal, and so it’s also a story that delves into relatively recent historical events. It’s considered by the film portal IMDb as one of the 100 best movies in history.

4. Hidden Figures

Black women have been one of the most excluded groups in the history of mankind. In addition to being affected by machismo, they also belong to a group that has been discriminated against throughout history because of the color of their skin.

The film Hidden Figures tells the story of a group of African-American women scientists who worked at NASA during the 1960s. At the same time, it recounts events of the struggle for civil rights in the United States.

5. Wonder

This is a comedy-drama that tells the story of August Pullman, a boy who was born with a series of deformities in his face. As a result, he was forced to undergo dozens of operations.

August’s parents decided that it was best for their son to go to school and interact with other children. However, it certainly wasn’t an easy situation for the family.

It’s a story with a happy and touching ending that shows the importance of teaching people to respect and embrace diversity. The film is inspired by a book simply called August.

Read more here: Deformational Plagiocephaly: Prevention and Treatment

6. Milk

Homosexual people have been victims of repression and discrimination throughout history because of their sexual orientation. Little by little they have been able to lay claim to their rights and be recognized.

However, this has been a struggle with plenty of ups and downs. Milk is a film that tells the story of the politician Harvey Milk, who was an activist for gay rights in the United States and the first gay man to officially hold public office.

It was released in 2008 and was nominated for several awards. It won an Oscar in the categories of Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor for Sean Penn’s leading performance. It’s a great movie to learn about the history of LGTBQ+ rights.

7. A Brilliant Mind

This is a movie based on a true story. It’s about the life of mathematician John Forbes Nash, who was Nobel Laureate in Mathematics in 1994.

It tells the story of how this renowned scholar copes with his schizophrenia while making history with the study of numbers. It is a very interesting film to overcome taboos about mental health issues. It was nominated for nine Oscars, of which it won 4.

8. Monsters University

This is one of the best films about diversity and inclusion to watch with children. This Pixar production helps us to understand how the best monsters can be of different sizes and colors. In doing so, it also reflects on how deceptive appearances are, and how dangerous prejudice can be.

9. Adú

This is a touching story that tells the sad situations faced by migrant children. While the film focuses on Adú, a 6-year-old boy who travels miles to get to Spain, experiencing all kinds of difficult situations, it also shows other parallel situations about a border guard and an environmental activist. It’s a film that helps us to understand the harsh realities of inequality and poverty in many countries, as well as the whole issue of migration.

10. Champions

Champions is a dramatic comedy that tells the story of a sports director who arrives to lead a basketball team made up of people with various intellectual disabilities. It’s inspired by the true story of the Aderes-Burjassot team, which won twelve Spanish championships.

Although the team manager, Marco, is initially very prejudiced and refuses to coach them, he overcomes his preconceptions to realize the players’ value and all the things he can learn from them.

Sport and discapacity.
Sport and disability can go hand in hand. Although the movie Champions focuses on basketball, its lessons apply to other activities.

11. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

This film tells a fascinating story based on the novel of the same name written by Jean Dominique Bauby. It tells how a man suffers an accident that causes him to develop a strange condition, known as captivity syndrome, which totally paralyzes him.

The protagonist, a former editor of Elle magazine, learns a way of communicating only by blinking his left eye to dictate narratives letter by letter.

12. Encanto

This Disney film is ideal for teaching children the value of diversity in families. It tells the story of the Madrigals, a Colombian family in which each member has a superpower, except for Mirabel, an adventurous and intelligent girl.

Through animation, we can understand how each person is special for who they are. It teaches us that everyone has amazing inner power.

Watch these movies as a family

Cinema can be a very positive pastime for the family. In fact, creating opportunities for reflection on movies is an excellent, entertaining and formative way to teach children.

In this sense, movies about diversity and inclusion are great to watch as a family, especially with teenagers. It’s important to check the recommended age of each one to see if it’ll be suitable for your kids.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.