Top Five Films for Health Awareness

Sports – Concussion (2015)

Director: Peter Landesman

The movie is based on a true story, portraying the life of Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-American neuropathologist, who was the first physicist to discover and publish findings of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in football players. Will Smith’s performance as Dr. Omalu is the highlight of the film, as he shows the uphill battle he faced in bringing the information to the public despite the efforts of the NFL to deny it.

Nutrition – Super-Size Me (2004)

Director: Morgan Spurlock

This documentary shows how Morgan Spurlock, an average middle-aged American, personally explored the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month. This is not only a critic to the fast-food restaurant chains and their deliberate attempt to profit out of consumer’s poor health choices, but also on the carelessness by the fast-food consumer on the lack of attention to what he or she is eating. The movie won as best documentary in the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated in the same category for an Academy Award.

Insomnia – The Machinist (2004)

Director: Brad Anderson

A thriller about an industrial worker who has not slept in a year, developing a serious case of insomnia that wears down his brain and his body. He suddenly starts to find strange notes in his apartment and see people that apparently aren’t there, making impossible to distinguish between reality and imaginary. This is not a very dynamic film but is definitely worth to invest some time analyzing it and, most importantly, enjoying it. This outstanding and dark performance by Christian Bale required him to lose 63 pounds for this particular role.

Sexuality – Juno (2007)

Director: Jason Reitman

A 16-year-old high-school junior is faced with an unexpected pregnancy and all the barriers that she might encounter in this process. Supported unconditionally by her parents and her best friend, she will have to discover that one bad decision can have consequences that last for a lifetime. The movie gained some controversy because of the main character’s somewhat insensitive tone with regards to this delicate matter. The movie won the Academy Award and the BAFTA for best original screenplay.

Depression – Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Based on the homonymous book written Stephen Chbosky, it recounts the story of a 15-year-old dealing with his first year of high-school, the suicide of his best middle-school friend, and the death of his favorite aunt. While he is trying to find a group of people with whom he belongs, he encounters two eccentric friends who welcome him to the real world, making him live experiences that take him out of his comfort zone. The visuals are paired with some really good late 80s and early 90s music, films and TV show references.