5 Movies That Can Help You Understand International Relations
1. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Old but gold. There are plenty of lessons you can learn from this movie to understand the Middle East and its relationship with the West. Furthermore, reflecting the life of Thomas Edward Lawrence, imperialism, counterinsurgency, alliances, war, nationalism, racism, diplomacy, and pretty much everything are well-defined through this one character. Despite the fact he is an outsider, he is able to unite Arabs to see their true self-interest.
2. Bridge of Spies (2015)
This movie is set during the Cold War inspired by a true story. The two leading countries, the US and the USSR did not want to attack each other but instead chose to spy. It also depicts how these spies are caught and eventually become the object of negotiation. From this movie, not only can you see the thorough situation of the Cold War, but also learn the art of negotiation such as identifying national interest (raison d’état), which is an essential aspect in international affairs.
3. Argo (2012)
Based on a true story, the movie is opened by the history of the Iranian Revolution in which the role of diplomacy is pushed to release six hostages who are seized for months. This true story has shaped the current events which show such a tense relationship between Iran and the US.
4. The Whistleblower (2010)
The movie tells a true story of a female cop who is offered to work in the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. Despite its very disturbing scene that can fill you with rage, this movie demonstrates how organized crimes — in this case, sex trafficking — are “facilitated” by the system and international organizations.
5. The Pianist (2002)
A Polish-Jewish pianist talking from his own experience to survive the Holocaust. The movie truly tells the horror of the overwhelming Nazis abusing the power against the Jews. The education about the Holocaust and other genocides is necessary so that we oppose racism, encourage tolerance, and value human rights in our own community, which are required in the international community.
PS: I intentionally gathered movies that are based on true stories and attempted to select ones that are somewhat relevant to today’s global affairs and its complexities.