Socioeconomic Diversity

The Selfish Giant
The Selfish Giant

This selection of films aims to represent a broad spectrum of socioeconomic status on film. Alongside documentaries that investigate the effect that economic status and social position can have on our lives and the opportunities open to us, this programme also includes a broad swathe of fiction films that tackle these issues. Ranging from rags to riches tales to kitchen sink social realism, these films all explore the impact that social inequality or altered circumstances can have on young people’s lives.

Kes

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration110 mins

Kes(1969)

Enchanting film from famed British social realist director Ken Loach, about a young lad with an unhappy life, who befriends and tames a kestrel hawk.

This story of an alienated boy who finds hope as he nurtures a kestrel is a moving depiction of low-income family life and the failures of the 1960s class-based education system.

Read more
The Boxtrolls

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration92 mins

The Boxtrolls(2014)

Charming stop-motion animated fable from the makers of Coraline, based on Alan Snow's children's novel Here Be Monsters.

In this animation Eggs, an orphaned boy brought up underground by rubbish-dwelling creatures called ‘boxtrolls’ befriends a girl from the rich world above. However her father, the mayor, is keen to ‘clean up’ the town by getting rid of undesirables like the boxtrolls.

Read more
The Cave Of The Yellow Dog

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration89 mins

The Cave Of The Yellow Dog(2005)

A touching story backdropped by beautiful Mongolian scenery, as little Nansal befriends a stray dog.

Nansal and her family live a nomadic lifestyle, dependent on the land to provide them with enough to live on, and any extra money they need they must raise by travelling to the nearest town. In their isolated existence, Nansal finds herself free to explore nature- but when she makes friends with a stray dog her father worries it may be a danger to the family livestock.

Read more
Akeelah and The Bee

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration108 mins

Akeelah and The Bee(2006)

Inspiring and uplifting movie about an impoverished child who discovers an exceptional spelling talent.

A young girl brought up in a struggling household gets the chance to shine when she is encouraged to compete in the spelling bee.

Read more
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

CertU

Age groupAll ages

Duration95 mins

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory(1971)

Visually brilliant 1971 Roald Dahl adaptation about a little boy who wins a tour of the maddest sweet factory in the world!

Charlie Bucket’s wildest dreams come true when he finds a golden ticket to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, as even buying a chocolate bar for him is a treat his family can rarely afford.

Read more
Felix

CertUnclassified

Age group7–14

Duration94 mins

Felix(2013)

An uplifting South African film about a 13-year-old talented musician who must earn a place in his new school’s jazz concert.

Talented musician Felix is from the townships, where his tin flute forms part of the music of everyday life. When he wins a scholarship into a prestigious private school, he and his choice of instrument are looked down upon by his wealthy fellow students.

Read more
Mad Hot Ballroom

CertU

Age group7–11

Duration101 mins

Mad Hot Ballroom(2005)

An uplifting, thought-provoking documentary about a group of ordinary eleven year olds who set out to compete in a ballroom dance contest in New York.

Children in the public school system in New York are enrolled in a special ballroom dancing programme to engage them and build their self-esteem. Before long, pupils from all backgrounds are displaying elegance, flair and discipline which trickles down to enrich their other studies.

Read more
Cinderella

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration74 mins

Cinderella (1950)

Cinderella's cruel stepmother stops her from going to the ball, however, she has a Fairy Godmother who uses her magic to ensure she gets to the ball.

When orphaned Cinderella is left to the care of her wicked stepmother, she is forced to live a life devoid of luxury, working from dawn til dusk waiting on her stepsisters and the victim of their mean pranks. However, when her fairy godmother intervenes Cinderella’s luck might be about to change…

Read more
Into The West

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration97 mins

Into The West(1992)

Facing the grim reality of a Dublin Council estate, Tito and Ossie's lives are turned around as their Traveller grandfather brings them a white horse.

Social and magical realism combine in this story of two young boys with a white horse rumoured to have mythical powers, which they attempt to look after in their cramped council flat.

Read more
Oliver!

CertU

Age group5–14

Duration139 mins

Oliver!(1968)

Musical version of the famous Charles Dickens novel about the adventures of a Victorian orphan who falls in with a London street gang.

The limited options of an orphan in Victorian London are explored here as young Oliver chooses between a rock and a hard place to try and keep himself afloat, accompanied by villains that look after him and state-sponsored carers who do not.

Read more
Annie

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration122 mins

Annie(1982)

Big screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, including a few new songs to the heartwarming tale of little orphan Annie trying to find happiness.

A little girl with an optimistic disposition finds her life in a strict run-down orphanage turned around when a wealthy business owner agrees to help her try and find her real parents.

Read more
Robin Hood

CertU

Age group5–11

Duration80 mins

Robin Hood(1973)

Disney version of the famous story of outlaw Robin Hood, with a cast of animated animals.

The legendary tale of the man who stole from the rich to give to the poor and his merry band of forest-dwelling outsiders is given the animated Disney treatment, complete with a cast of charming creatures.

Read more
I Am Kalam

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration88 mins

I Am Kalam(2010)

A funny, moving tale about an Indian boy called Chhotu whose dreams of going to school are granted by a benevolent Prince.

A young boy who works at a roadside café is inspired to try and find a place at school so he can grow up to be just like his hero, India’s former president Dr Abdul Kalam. When he befriends a young prince, his positive attitude is noticed and new opportunities open up to him.

Read more
Kaaka Muttai (The Crow's Egg)

CertPG

Age group7–14

Duration91 mins

Kaaka Muttai (The Crow's Egg)(2014)

Tamil children’s film about two boys desperate to earn enough money to get a slice of pizza from the new pizza shop.

Two young boys who are forced to steal eggs every day to feed themselves are desperate to try the new delicacy in town when a pizza shop opens. However, getting together the money to buy a slice proves to be a big challenge.

Read more
Load more

Viewing 0 of 0 films in list

The Selfish Giant

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration87 mins

The Selfish Giant(2013)

This contemporary fable tells the story of two boys, shunned by their community, who resort to collecting scrap metal for a shady local dealer.

Loosely based on the Oscar Wilde fairy tale, this Bradford-set story of two young boys taken under the wing of a used scrap metal dealer when they are excluded from school reveals a life led on the fringes of society.

Read more
Erin Brockovich

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration126 mins

Erin Brockovich(2000)

Based on the true story of a sassy single mother working as an assistant at a law firm, who discovers a firm's water pollution is making locals ill.

Based on a true story, this legal drama is about a single mother who proves her worth as a legal assistant when she is confronted with a serious and devastating case of corporate negligence.

Read more
Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike)

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration85 mins

Le gamin au vélo (The Kid with a Bike)(2011)

A modern fairy tale with a razor-sharp edge, this deeply compassionate film from the Dardenne brothers centres on a damaged boy in search of love.

This moving social realistic drama centres on a young boy being brought up in care who is desperate to find his dad. When a local hairdresser takes a shine to him, their bond seems to offer the vulnerable boy a new way forward.

Read more
Sicko

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration118 mins

Sicko(2007)

Controversial documentary-maker Michael Moore turns his eye to the US healthcare system, where patients often struggle to pay for treatment.

Michael Moore challenges the workings of the US healthcare system, which is based on a ‘for profit’ model. This documentary exposes the fact that the lives of US citizens are lost or financially ruined when their income cannot cover the cost of their treatment.

Read more
Cathy Come Home

CertPG

Age group14+

Duration75 mins

Cathy Come Home(1966)

Honest and unflinching story of a young mother who loses her house, her husband and eventually her children.

This early film by celebrated director Ken Loach reveals how easy it can be for support structures to fail the very people they’re designed to protect. This film reveals the plight of Cathy, whose financial difficulties mount until she loses everything she holds dear and is left homeless.

Read more
Beasts of the Southern Wild

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration91 mins

Beasts of the Southern Wild(2012)

A beautiful blend of fantasy and drama sees an isolated community threatened by a storm, told through the eyes of a remarkable young girl.

When a poor remote community in the American south’s bayous is destroyed by a storm, young Hushpuppy and her father are forced to take refuge in shelter along with all the other people displaced from their homes. As the community struggles to stay together, it quickly becomes apparent that there is no money to help them rebuild their lives.

Read more
Killer of Sheep

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration77 mins

Killer of Sheep(1977)

A realistic film depicting urban African-American life in '70s LA, about a husband who has to work very long hours at a slaughterhouse.

This film is a revealing portrait of the lives of everyday working people in suburban LA, who have no choice but to work long hours in unrewarding jobs to make ends meet for their families.

Read more
Pretty In Pink

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration92 mins

Pretty In Pink(1986)

Brat Pack 80s actress Molly Ringwald plays a poor girl with offbeat style who falls for a rich kid, while others frown on the social divide.

In this ‘80s Romeo and Juliet-style high-school drama, quirky Andie who looks after her unemployed single dad, starts dating the wealthy Blane, but their union comes under pressure from his snobbish friends because she isn’t considered a suitable match.

Read more
George Washington

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration89 mins

George Washington(2000)

An unusual movie about a group of children growing up in one of America's poorest and most neglected corners.

A group of friends growing up on the wrong side of the tracks experience the intensity of a summer of the brink of adolescence, until a shocking event changes everything.

Read more
A Taste Of Honey

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration96 mins

A Taste Of Honey(1961)

A memorable drama that involves a pregnant teenage girl who shares a flat with an openly gay man.

In this groundbreaking work of British social realism, a teenage girl is forced to leave home when her mother finds herself a new husband. Pregnant and with no income, Jo shares a flat with her gay friend Geoffrey, who promises to take care of her.

Read more
Trash

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration109 mins

Trash(2014)

Three friends find a wallet that leads them on a thrilling adventure through the Brazilian favelas.

Three friends, who live by a huge refuse site and make their money from picking through the waste are excited to discover a wallet one day. However, when police turn up, the friends smell trouble – especially as the police have a reputation for ‘disappearing’ people that they don’t think will be missed.

Read more
The Man Who Knew Infinity

Cert12

Age group11+

Duration109 mins

The Man Who Knew Infinity(2015)

A self-taught Indian mathematics genius travels to England, where he finds his theories challenged by a conservative academic community.

This biopic focuses on the incredible story of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a self-taught man who grew up in abject poverty, whose visionary theories astounded the established academic community.

Read more
The Golden Dream

Cert12

Age group14+

Duration108 mins

The Golden Dream(2013)

Unconventional road movie about a group of undocumented teen Guatemalan immigrants and their perilous journey to a new life in the US.

The risks that some people will endure to find a better life for themselves is explored in this film which follows three Guatemalan teenagers aiming for the opportunities offered in the US. However, along the way they find themselves helped by fellow travellers, or hindered by others keen to take advantage of their desperate situation.

Read more
The Entrepreneurs

CertUnclassified

Age group11+

Duration51 mins

The Entrepreneurs(2009)

This inspiring documentary focuses on a group of young rural Zambian women who defy the odds to establish their own successful business.

A group of rural Zambian women receive business training to set up their own concerns and improve the quality of life in their community in this uplifting documentary.

Read more
Capitalism - A Love Story

Cert12

Age group14–16

Duration122 mins

Capitalism - A Love Story(2009)

This Michael Moore documentary examines the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world).

This film, directed by affably disruptive documentarian Michael Moore, explores how the dominant economic ideology controls the flow of wealth across the US and the majority of the globe, widening the gap between rich and poor

Read more
Last Resort

Cert15

Age group14+

Duration73 mins

Last Resort(2000)

A sad, funny and honest film about the problems facing asylum seekers in modern Britain.

A touching drama about an Eastern European woman attempting to start fresh in England where she is let down by a fiancé who never shows. As an asylum seeker, she is sent to an economically depressed seaside town where she must find a way to keep body and soul together for herself and her son.

Read more
Kes

CertPG

Age group7+

Duration110 mins

Kes(1969)

Enchanting film from famed British social realist director Ken Loach, about a young lad with an unhappy life, who befriends and tames a kestrel hawk.

This story of an alienated boy who finds hope as he nurtures a kestrel is a moving depiction of low-income family life and the failures of the 1960s class-based education system.

Read more
Load more

Viewing 0 of 0 films in list