Hide table of contents

My list consists mostly of documentaries which showcase the spirit of altruism during incredible hardship. If you are ever need to rekindle the passion for altruism, these movies are cautionary but inspiring reminders.

  1. Jim: The James Foley Story (the backstory to arguably the first man famed for being beheaded and filmed by isis)

2: E-Team (a team of U.N. reporters find shocking human rights violations in Syria and Libya and attempt to confront their governments with these discoveries)

  1. The White Helmets (the devastating reality which first responders in Syrian civilian building bombings face as they work to save lives. One quite especially resonated with me: “I try as hard as possible to save every person under the rubble whether they are young or old, I consider them all to be my family.”)
New Answer
New Comment

3 Answers sorted by

I enjoyed Cloud Atlas (fiction, both book and movie). It's a movie where relatively normal people did hard things because they were the right thing to do, not because movie morality entailed a just world hypothesis where good things happen to good people, or because the movie's characters were personally and emotionally invested in specific outcomes.

I think this is relatively rare in fiction, which is why I like the movie. I've told several EA friends about the movie and they liked it too.

I also watch movies about ordinary people resisting during World War II (eg, John Rabe for nonfiction and Jojo Rabbit for fiction), especially if it's from the perspective of the Axis.

+1, a lot of David Mitchell's metafiction-y books have EA vibes (huge scope, interwoven characters doing the right thing for unknown future others)

Schindler's List, which follows Oskar Schindler, "who saved more than a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees from the Holocaust by employing them in his factories during World War II."

Probably many other similarly inspiring WWII stories here, although I don't know how many other movies/documentaries there are about these people:


I like the idea of listing related movies, but I conceive it in a very different way - movies that might have a more indirect influence. For example, "The Current War" provides an interesting example of the revolutionary benefits and uncertain risks of technological changes., and would probably interest any longtermist (at least those with no prior knowledge of the history of electricity)

I'm not sure if it completely fits, but Grizzly Man  is a great documentary  about (questionable) altruism.

Furthermore, the movie focuses also a lot on questions surrounding which view of nature we should have. It seemed to subtly reinforce my emotional stance towards wild animal suffering. 

Curated and popular this week
Relevant opportunities