• Mariana Da Silva

Art History: 5 Films To Keep You Inspired & Fueled to Fight for Justice

"How do we not look away while also caring for our hopeful spirit? It is important to not let go of the things that make us feel good or have once aided us in hard times."


Mariana Da Silva is the Creative Director and Founder of El Cine.

Follow El Cine for more film suggestions @somoselcine + somoselcine.org


“Hope is a dangerous thing. Hope can drive a man insane.” — Red from the film Shawshank Redemption.


That quote resonates with me in this moment. I do feel it. I feel hopeful. As dangerous as that is – we must stay active and engaged because hope cannot become passivity.


Rest, however, is a key ingredient in any fight. How do we not look away while also caring for our hopeful spirit? It is important to not let go of the things that make us feel good or have once aided us in hard times.


By now, you know of my film addiction, it’s how I learn and often how I disconnect and process. Films impact me. They move me to action.


I've been thinking how our generation has risen and I truly believe our vision of a better world is in part due to the films that have made us believe in it’s possibility. We know StarWars is a battle of good and evil. No middle ground. Much like our current fight.


My favorite recent online video was one of a very likable trumpet player playing the Evil Empire jingle as the French police marched at a protest. It was one of the most relevant videos I have seen lately. Film culture has consistently told us to stand up for moments such as these, and we have.


Right now is the perfect time to revisit the classics that shaped you. The ones that make you feel good because of their familiarity but also remind you of the strength within you.


Here are some of the inspirational films I recharge with:


The Pursuit of Happyness: Directed by Gabriele Muccino. “Don’t ever let somebody tell you you can’t do something. Including me.” Will Smith says to Jayden Smith, in stellar performances from both of them. This movie is so moving, it honestly makes you realize that if you can believe in yourself, you are a rich woman, or man. Based on a true story.

Streaming on Netflix.


Shawshank Redemption: Directed by Frank Darabont. This classic could not be more relevant right now. It dissects the injustices of those who are institutionalized, and the general brokenness of the justice system. This film is about hope and time well spent.

At the end of Shawshank you learn that hope is essential to the human spirit.

Available on Starz via Amazon Prime.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Directed by Gareth Edwards. Many will argue but to me, this film is where it's at with Star Wars. Rogue One is pure millennial heart. It’s of this moment, it’s romantic and epic. A revolution film led by a woman (Felicity Hoffman) and Diego Luna as her sidekick. I can’t stress enough how much I love this film and how much bravery it sparks in me.

Streaming on Disney Plus.


“This is our moment to make a difference. Are you with me?” - Jyn Erso


In the Time of the Butterflies: Directed by Mariano Barroso. Based on the book written by Julia Alvarez, this film tells the true story of Minerva who was one of the Maribel sisters. The sisters opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. They organized and truly began what became the country's revolution. Their story is wildly empowering and important.

Available for rent on Microsoft.


Creed: Directed by Ryan Coogler. A film for the fighters. A pump up movie deep rooted in the human spirit. A great fighter once said “It ain’t about how hard you can hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”

Available for rent on Amazon Prime.


Now rest and fight on.

Meet The Family

Mariana Da Silva is a Brazilian Mexican writer/actress who lives in Los Angeles. She is the founder of El Cine, a Latin Film Organization that promotes film education and charitable giving. Mariana has appeared on Telenovelas and TV series, her credits include El Rostro De Analia, Las Dos Caras de Ana and NCIS. Mariana's  short films have appeared at festivals world wide.

Mariana is right handed.  www.somoselcine.org

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