Human Fiction

Action – Creation – Critique

Fight Films

The revolution in Ukraine, the annexation of the Crimea, the protests in Venezuela, and the Scottish independence referendum for secession from the UK — the world is immersed in the struggle for freedom and independence. The theme of fighters with incredible willpower and spirit, opponents of totalitarian systems is one of the most successful in various genres of culture, whether in literature or cinema. With the onset of autumn’s cool evenings it’s time to watch a film. Here are eight films about struggle in its various forms that we think you will enjoy.

The fight for freedom

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), director Frank Darabont

The Shawshank Redemption

A confirmation that people love movies about the struggle for freedom is the fact that The Shawshank Redemption has been long ranked first in the top 250 on the website IMDb, with a rating of 9.3 out of 10, obtained thanks to 1,280,052 users’ votes. A successful young banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is accused of murdering his wife and her lover. Unjustly sentenced to life in prison, he finds himself in a prison called Shawshank, where he faces the brutality and lawlessness reigning on both sides of the bars. Anyone who ends up between those walls becomes their slave for life. But Andy, armed with a quick mind and a good heart, refuses to accept the verdict of fate and begins to develop incredibly daring plan of his escape. A touching parable of the irresistible instinct for freedom, this film based on a story by Stephen King “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” (1982) is a movie about the struggle for freedom, for honor and life, as well as a story of hope.

Get busy living or get busy dying. That’s goddamn right.

The fight for independence

Braveheart (1995), director Mel Gibson


This story takes place in 1280 in Scotland, of the legendary national hero William Wallace (Mel Gibson), who dedicated himself to the struggle with the English under King Edward “Longshanks.” Braveheart is a historical drama with massive, powerful, realistic, and sometimes naturalistic recreated battles at the turn of the 13th century, and with young Mel Gibson, who also got the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director. The main themes of the film: patriotism and the struggle for freedom.

[They can take our lives, but they will never take our freedom]. (

The fight for dream

Gattaca (1997), director Andrew Niccol


Gattaca is the perfect world of the future. Here, everyone is genetically programmed, and a sad fate awaits those who were born in love, in a natural way, and not in a laboratory. Such is the fate of Vincent Freeman (what a last name!) (Ethan Hawke), a young man who has received at birth a label “not suitable.” Definitely, Vincent has weighty drawbacks: he is subject to passions, he gives in to emotions, and he believes that his dreams will come true. Trying to achieve his ambitious goals, or innermost desires, Vincent is ready to do anything to become a respected member of the Gattaca Corporation. This film is a cyberpunk dystopia where society has become totally inhuman. At the same time, society has lost something purely human, something like an irrepressible force of will and a sometimes completely irrational pursuit of a dream.

There’s no gene for fate.

The fight for feelings

Equilibrium (2002), director Kurt Wimmer


The action takes place in the future when people are deprived of the opportunity to express any emotions, because they are forbidden. Books, art and music are outlawed. Any feeling is a crime punishable by death. In order to enforce the existing rules they force people to take drugs called “Prozium.” A government agent John Preston (Christian Bale) fights against those who break the rules. Then suddenly, he forgets to take his dose of the medication and he feels the spiritual transformation that leads him to a contradiction with himself and with his superiors. In principle, the film is a typical dystopia, where as usual one man, one of the few who discovered the truth, does not give up until the end and goes ahead against the system and a totalitarian state. It is much like 1984 by George Orwell.

Robbie Preston: [Mutes TV] “John?”
John Preston: “Yes?”
Robbie Preston: “I saw Robbie Taylor crying today. He didn’t know, but I saw. Do you think I should report 8him?”
John Preston: “Unquestionably.”

The fight for death

The Sea Inside (original title Mar adentro) (2004), director Alejandro Amenabar

Mar adentro

The real story of Spaniard Ramon Sampedro (Javier Bardem) who, being completely paralyzed for nearly thirty years, was fighting for the right to euthanasia. The film tells a story of his relationship with two women: Julia, his counsel (Belen Rueda), and Rose, his girlfriend (Lola Duenas), who tries to convince Ramon that life is worth living. The power of Ramon’s love inspires these women to do things that seemed impossible to them. Ramon, despite the desire for death, reveals to his friends and family the value and the meaning of life. He cannot move himself, but he can make anyone change the course of their life. Ramon Sampedro didn’t receive a permit for euthanasia by the court, but before his death, in 1998, he published a book Letters from Hell, in which he described the difficult life of a man chained to a bed for decades. In Spain, the law on “Dignified death” came into force in March 2010, but was first used in 2011, when 91-year-old Ramona (a little bit symbolic) Estevez was disconnected from the ventilator.

You’re sitting there, three feet away. But for me, those three feet are an impossible journey.

The fight for truth

The Hunt (original title Jagten) (2012), director Thomas Vinterberg


A lonely teacher (Mads Mikkelsen) is fighting for custody of his son. His life is slowly getting better, when he finds love and gets good news from his son, but his new life is about to be brutally destroyed by an innocent lie. The Hunt reveals the human essence in the worst of its manifestations and shows us the power of even a little lie.

A random lie can destroy an innocent man.

The fight for mind

Sucker Punch (2011), director Zack Snyder

Sucker Punch

A young girl (Emily Browning) at the insistence of her villainous stepfather is enclosed in a hospital for the mentally ill. There, she invents a fairy-tale world and begins to plan her escape - and for this Babydoll needs to get five items. The film was shot in 3D. For many it may seem strange, but for those who like Zack Snyder and his films 300 and Watchmen, Sucker Punch will be to taste.

Reality is a prison. Your mind can set you free.

The fight for life

Dallas Buyers Club (2013), director Jean-Marc Vallee

Dallas Buyers Club

The real story of Ron Woodruff (Matthew McConaughey), a Texas electrician, who in 1985 has been diagnosed with AIDS. Doctors gave him only 30 days, but he did not want to put up with a death sentence, and was able to prolong his life, taking non-traditional medicine, and then established an underground business of selling it to other patients. Thanks to this film, the entire Internet was filled with memes about how poor Leonardo DiCaprio is, being left without an Oscar again. But we have to admit that since Matthew McConaughey (Oscar for Best Actor) and Jared Leto (Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) lost 22 kg and 13 kg for the role respectively, they received the prestigious award absolutely because they deserved it. In the film, Ron Woodruff is fighting alone against bureaucratic, corrupt and indifferent health system. So, we get the drama of the rebirth of the man who discovered his untiring willpower and desire to live.

There ain’t nothin’ out there can kill fuckin’ Ron Woodroof in 30 days.

By Ievgeniia Sokova, on October 30, 2014. Top.

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