Last year, I wrote a post on my “Libertarian Reading List“. It covered books on libertarianism that were influential on me and that I recommend to others. I was asked recently if I have a libertarian movie list. While it differs quite a bit from my reading list, I do have some movie favorites.
There is a big difference between my reading list and movie list. The reading list is mostly non-fiction and is overtly libertarian in most cases. The books I recommend are for people who specifically want to learn more about libertarian philosophy and want to be able to better understand it and also defend the pro-liberty positions.
My movie list tends to be different. I don’t know of many non-fiction libertarian movies. If you want to watch a video of libertarianism, you are probably better off going to YouTube and finding what you want. But there are some good movies that have very subtle libertarian messages, even if it is often unintended. Many of these movies are good for non-libertarians. They may plant a seed in the person’s head without them knowing it.
This movie is based on a true story. It is about soldiers fighting in World War I, who decide to call a truce during the Christmas holiday. They come out and socialize with the “enemy”. It shows the absurdity of war. It shows that these soldiers had more in common than they realized and that they were fighting each other only because of their respective governments.
I enjoy the psychology of this movie. The people in the village have basically been brainwashed, but they don’t really know it. (Does anyone being brainwashed ever know it?) The main character questions authority. He is a thinking individual. He questions the world around him. I don’t want to spoil anything in case you haven’t seen it. Again, there is no overtly libertarian theme, but there are messages about thinking outside of the box and questioning authority.
Most people are quite familiar with the Star Wars movies. It is a story of good vs. evil. It is a story of redemption. It is a story of tyranny trying to rule the world. It is a story of a group of freedom fighters (rebels) trying to defeat the evil empire. These movies are not for everyone, but there is definitely an aspect appealing to libertarians.
There are some good libertarian lines in this movie. Mel Gibson does not want to fight an American Revolution, but he changes his mind when tragedy strikes his family. While I am anti-war and I even think there are legitimate questions about the Revolutionary War, this movie still deserves to be on my list.
V for Vendetta
This isn’t a purely libertarian movie. I am against the use of violence unless it is strictly in self defense. The methods used by the main character go beyond this. However, this movie still deserves a place on my list due to the overall story of fighting for freedom against tyranny.
Lord of the Rings
I have to admit that I have not seen the entirety of these movies. This is like Star Wars in that it is not for everyone. But there is definitely a libertarian theme in that people cannot be trusted with great power.
Atlas Shrugged, Part I
This is completely different from the other movies on this list. This movie is not subtle in its message. It is libertarian and it doesn’t hide its message. I would recommend the book over the movie first. With that said, I was actually pleasantly surprised when I saw this movie. For a low budget movie, it was actually decent and I look forward to seeing part II.
If I think of any other movies, I will update my list.