October Sky

John Hickam is a simple coal miner from West Virginia. He desires that his sons follow his footsteps into the mines. However, as indicated in this 1999 movie, they turn out to be very smart. One of them named Jim joins a football scholarship and the other named Homer wants to become a rocket scientist. John does not like Homer's obsession with space flight. However, with some help from a teacher name Laura Dern, Homer learns more and eventually designs and builds some of the first rockets in America.

Hotel Rwanda

This is a heart-wrenching movie based on the Rwanda Genocide. Released in 2004, it revolves around the life of Paul Rusesabagina. Played by Don Cheadle, he is a hotel manager in Hutu and lives there with his family. When the genocide breaks out and the Hutu begin to massacre the Tutsi, he allows the unfortunate ethnic community into his hotel to stay as refugees. However, things get worse when UN presence retreats and leaves him at the mercy of his Hutu ethnic companions. It shows the strength of humanity and compassion.

The Aviator

Contrary to popular opinion, some successful people normally suffer from tremendous personal problems. One of the main ones is huge amounts of stress. Howard Hughes had everything a man could want. Played by Leonardo DiCaprio, he had billions, beautiful actresses as his lovers, blockbuster films and private aeroplanes. However, behind the scenes he suffered from depression, phobias and soul-destroying stress. Released in 2004, this movie shows how he lived above his suffering and maintained an empire.

Born on the Fourth of July

This is a movie which explores the transformation of a soldier who left for Vietnam on his own two feet and returned in a wheelchair. This soldier's name was Ron Kovic. He joined the Marines excited to fight for America in Vietnam. After getting injured and seeing the needless suffering, Ron returned home and began many anti-Vietnam war protests. His efforts bore fruit when the USA retreated from Vietnam. He was portrayed in this 1989 movie by Tom Cruise. The motion picture indicates the pacifist passion and drive of the injured war veteran.

My Left Foot

This 1989 movie indicates the story of one Christy Brown, a man who suffered from cerebral palsy. His right arm and leg were gravely affected and hence paralyzed. Thus he taught himelf to write and paint with his left side and achieved success by using them. Played by Daniel-Day Lewis, Christy Brown goes through heartbreaking ordeals before gaining recognition as a successful author and artist.

The Insider

This is a 1999 movie which bravely depicted the negative effects of corporate greed and media manipulation. It tells the story of a tobacco industry tycoon named Jeffrey Wigand who blew the whistle on his own company after realizing that they were increasing the amount of addictive nicotine per cigarette. Played by Russel Crowe, he embarked on a campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of cigarette smoking against the will of his shareholders. Eventually, Wigand's family was threatened, bullied and he lost everything. However, his legacy remained as one of the few honest businessmen to ever reach the top of the food chain. 


The Blind Side

This is a movie that tackled the issue of race and depicted a gripping tale of humanity over racial difference. Released in 2009, this movie tells the story of a homeless African American teen named Michael Oher. He is taken in by a white adoptive family and becomes their legal son. Thanks to their help and guidance, Michael learns how to overcome racial prejudice and becomes a great student and football player. He rises to the level of a professional player and breaks all racial chains in his path.


The Pianist

This is a movie which tells the story of the Holocaust. It tells the story of Władysław Szpilman, a pianist who was forced to relocate to the ghetto of Warsaw when the German Nazi forces invaded Poland. With almost nothing to his name, Szpilman suffers abject poverty and watches the Jews being hauled away for extermination. Played by Adrien Brody, he watched innocent children beaten to death and scores of other inhuman atrocities. However, he survived the ordeals and lived to see the end of the war. Released in 2002, The Pianist inspires hope in the most grim, desperate situations of life.

The Important Take Away

Movies can be tremendously effective sources of inspiration They can help us to feel encouraged when we see the characters in the screen overcome impossible odds to survive and even thrive. The movies indicated above are based on true stories and are capable of inspiring this in the lives of their viewers. Take the time to view some or all of them and you may receive the encouragement you desperately needed.