Humanitarian Day 2019 and the 7 Best Films to Watch - Raindance

As World Humanitarian Day 2019 approaches on August 19th, we can take a look at some of the impactful films and documentaries. 

This is a day to tribute those who risk their lives, and those who have lost their lives in humanitarian services. This includes Natural disasters, conflict, political instability, that leave many people in need. Incredibly, many filmmakers have taken up the challenge of sharing these harsh circumstances on camera for all of us to see, and hopefully encourage this generation to help as well.

1. Most Shocking Second a Day Video (2015)

Originally posted to YouTube by SavetheChildren in 2014, This little 1:33 minute video most certainly did shock the audience. Taking up the trend of filming 1 second everyday, This video follows a young girl who has her life fulling turned in one year by war. Bombing and homelessness, She starts out with a normal life by Celebrating her birthday, playing hide and seek. And then, within seconds, we see how fast life can change. An extremely well done and effective little video.

Directed by: Martin Stirling

2. A Day in the Life: Welcome to Za’atari

Created and posted by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency on youtube in 2013, Through 15 episodes  these short docs follow the life of Syrian refugees pouring into this refugee camp. We follow their struggles including finding food and water, and how they have created homes and connections, and see how they have rebuilt their lives. Because there is kind people out there, these aid workers helping to create liveable environments with the refugees hope to restore hope 

Directed by: The UN Refugee Agency

3. The Foreign Aid Paradox

With a passion for helping others and creating films that spoke voices an audience would listen to, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing together created the ’The Foreign Aid Paradox’. This documentary covers the U.S funds foreign aid, and how much that 1% being spent effects both the U.S. As a result, we also see how it affects Haiti’s agricultural system.

WeTheEconomy, where this doc is shared, is also home to many more impactful documentaries that are great to take a look at.

Directed by: Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

4. The Stoning of Soraya M.

Cyrus Nowrasteh’s film, ’The Stoning of Soraya M. will tear your heart strings. It begins with Sahebjam, driving through an Iranian village, Kuhpayeh. Suddenly, his car breaks down. While in the village he comes across a Lady called Zahra, who holds a story of a tragic loved one who’s marriage does not end ideally. This film shines light on the cruelty, unkindness and gender violence, that take place in parts of the world, and problems that are completely ignored by everyday society. As a result It brings importance to these crimes, and takes you away from your everyday life to see inside others situations. This film attended the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and continues to break the hearts of audiences worldwide. It also allows viewers to see what the reality is for girls in these parts of the world. However, it is quite violent, and viewer discretion is advised. 

Directed By: Cyrus Nowrasteh

5. The Land of the Enlightened

Shot over the course of 7 years, director Pieter-Jan De Pue created this documentary that follows a gang of Afghan children. However, these children happen to uncover and sell explosives to other children. Ripped from childhood, these boys battle what is left of Afghanistan after the war, and choose to create gangs, control trade routes, commit what we would see as crimes. Somehow, they find the rubbish left behind as a sort of ‘playground’.

Directed by: Pieter-Jan De Pue

6. Hotel Rwanda

On a very regular day in 1994, Paul Rusesabagina manages his hotel with his wife and children when their regular life turns to Chaos. Suddenly, the Hutu tribe attack Rwanda, committing mass genoside, and killing millions while the world turned a blind eye. This story revolves around Paul, who manages to shelter 500,000- 100,000 Tutsis(The tribe being killed off) in his hotel. However, Paul has hope to gain communication with the UN and find a way to safely keep his people alive. He attempts to save the lives of thousands. In conclusion, this movie is about heroism and survival, and taking the risks for what you know is right, and most importantly the perfect film for all humanitarians out there.

Directed by: Terry George

7. Schindler’s List

Steven Spielberg throws you back in time to the holocaust in this black and white film. During which we follow a German Businessman who becomes concerned with how the jews around him are being treated by the Nazis. In short, This man decides to save them from going to concentration camps, by hiring them in his factory. There, he tries to give them the best life he can.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg




Bailey is a filmmaker and marketer from the great white north, Canada.
Coming from an illustration background, she has moved her creativity into branding and marketing the Raindance Film Festival, originally beginning as a Raindance intern in 2019. She has now moved on to win numerous awards through adobe and other arts organizations and is currently in the works of creating her next short film.

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