5 Incredible Movies With Great Life Lessons


Philosophers like Aristotle believed the purpose of art is to educate and entertain. We know not many filmmakers adhere to the first part of this belief; after all, for many, movies are an escape from the mundane and terrifying realities of life. Yet, sometimes we come across films that take us on a journey to self-discovery and remold our thinking process for the better. Here are five such films which inspire us toward positive change:

Life Is Beautiful

We don't think Roberto Benigni could have given a better name to his Italian masterpiece, Life Is Beautiful. As Guido Orifice's fairy-tale life turns into a nightmare, we see how our faculty of imagination and ability to love can make the toughest of times bearable. The movie doesn't have a happy ending, yet both Giosuè and the viewers are left with hope in their hearts.

 Humor with a backdrop of unimaginable tragedy sounds unappealing, but Benigni gives us a new perspective to look at life through such a weird combination. He shows us how optimism is humanity's biggest strength in the face of adversity. Till we have love in our hearts to offer and a wild imagination that shows us the beautiful side of things, life is indeed beautiful.

Into the Wild

Based on Jon Krakauer’s bestselling nonfiction novel of the same name, Into the Wild is a biographical adventure film. The story follows the life of a top university graduate who abandons his bright career prospects and embarks on a trip to find his way, out of the disillusionment of the modern world, into the lap of nature.

The movie is neither preachy nor does it try to justify the actions of the main character. It, however, raises questions about preconceived standards of success and happiness. The beauty of nature definitely unshackles you from the horror of the human world, but the film isn’t about man vs. nature. It’s more about how instead of adhering to society’s beliefs blindly, one should find their own meaning of happiness and success. Our life is our own, and our dreams and ambitions should determine its meaning.

The Motorcycle Diaries

We believe life’s most profound lessons come from unplanned adventures. Meeting new people and seeing the many faces of human experience transforms us in a way that has the power to change the world. The Motorcycle Diaries is one such adventure of the revolutionary guerrilla rebel Che Guevara. The film was an adaptation of his memoirs, journaling his motorcycle trip across South America in his early 20s. 

What started as a youthful indulgence became the foundation for Guevara’s transformation from a young and carefree medical student into an influential subversive leader. Witnessing the deplorable living condition of the impoverished people during the trip altered his beliefs and purpose in life. One can see how the film asks us to seek the world beyond what we know and take a responsible role in society to uplift the unprivileged.

The Truman Show

Director Peter Weir’s psychological satire, The Truman Show, revolves around a man unaware of his status as a reality show star and being recorded every second with hidden cameras. This 1998 movie eerily forebodes the changing social landscape of the 21st century. The advancement of technology and the enormous popularity of social media forces us to think if we are truly autonomous creatures.

Through the movie, we see how freedom evades those who never question reality. Media manipulation has made it hard to differentiate between reality and appearance; are we seeing a real person, or is it a carefully constructed image to deceive us? Questioning everything being fed to us and finding the truth behind it has become a necessity. For everyone deep down into their screens and influenced by the make-believe virtual world, this movie is for you.

Shawshank Redemption

Shawshank Redemption has become one of the greatest films in the 21st century, and for all the right reasons. The narration follows Andy Dufresne, wrongly convicted and sentenced to two life sentences. Such a situation is enough to break any man down, but Dufresne never stops being hopeful. Even while going through horrific experiences in captivity, he builds friendships of a lifetime and tirelessly works to improve the penitentiary library. His infectious hope spreads through the inmates, giving them a chance for redemption.

The movie beautifully teaches us that surviving in a place of extreme despair depends on our ability to adjust and keep ourselves motivated. When Red, a fellow inmate, calls hope a dangerous emotion, Dufresne proves to him that enduring hope is one of the best things.

Compiling this list has again filled our hearts with appreciation and gratitude for these movies. These powerful pieces of art can nourish your mind and sprout new ideas and aspirations. Thus we hope these five notable works will make you think and transform your thoughts for the better.