10 tips: When life writes incredible stories: Movies based on real events

Movies not only offer an escape from reality by bringing fictional worlds to life, they can also tell stories about real life.

10 tips: When life writes incredible stories: Movies based on real events

Movies not only offer an escape from reality by bringing fictional worlds to life, they can also tell stories about real life. Films based on real events are therefore popular works because they report on people and events that actually existed (or still exist). Which titles are worth seeing? You should add these ten tips film to your watch list.

Former CIA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden fled his American homeland in 2013 to release secret documents to the press that revealed total surveillance of global internet traffic. "Snowden" tells of Snowden's career and his motivation to risk everything and make his findings available to the public. To this day he lives in exile in Russia and cannot return to his native USA. Stream here.

Stories of humanity and courage inspire. Some stories of brave resistance during the Nazi era are better known than others. The film "The Zoo Director's Wife" belongs to the latter. In the Warsaw Zoo in 1939, Antonina Żabińska and her husband Jan Żabiński hid fellow Jews during World War II. They rescued numerous people from the Warsaw ghetto at the risk of their lives and that of their children. The film's narrative is based on the diary of Jan Żabiński and his wife Antonina. During the German occupation they rescued nearly 300 Jews. Stream here.

"Poisoned Truth" brought to the screen Nathaniel Rich's report in the New York Times Magazine on the legal dispute between lawyer Robert Bilott and the chemical company DuPont. Bilott uncovered the company's harmful practices for employees and customers, such as the pollution caused by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which was found in popular Teflon pans, for example. Due to personal ties with DuPont, Bilott dug deeper and deeper and encountered numerous victims who were not listened to. Bilott fought for the victims for 19 years and is still an environmental lawyer today. Stream here.

The drama "A United Kingdom" tells about the love of the British woman Ruth Williams Khama and her husband, the future king of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), Seretse Khama. He studied law in London in the 1940s. There he meets his great love Ruth, whom he marries after a short time. However, Seretse is the future chief of the Bamangwato in Bechuanaland, which is (still) a British protectorate. From now on, the couple not only have to assert themselves against the interests of the British government, but also defy family conflicts. However, the film not only tells the story of a love, but also that of an up-and-coming country — because today Botswana is considered one of the most developed countries in Africa. Stream here.

The reality of life for the people who experienced the Second World War is hard to imagine. "Dunkirk" is a raw and honest account of a major rescue operation that unfolded during the Battle of Dunkirk. At that time, numerous British soldiers were surrounded by German troops on the beach in the Belgian city of Dunkirk and evacuated across the English Channel. The film clearly shows the horrors of war and transports its viewers directly to the scene of the events. Stream here.

"N.W.A" shaped American rap like no other group and has done so to this day. Straight Outta Compton is the biopic of the Los Angeles hip hop crew and was directed by former members Dr. Dre and Ice Cube co-produced. This makes the film authentic and exciting. Both the eventful stories of the members as individuals and as a group give an insight into life in the problem district and show the (political) power that music has. Stream here.

The work of British logic genius Alan Turing was kept secret for a long time because he worked to decipher messages sent by the German military during World War II. "The Imitation Game" is based on the biography of the mathematician who is portrayed in the film by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together with a team of talented researchers, Turing worked at Bletchley Park in the UK to decode radio messages that were encrypted by the Germans using the "Enigma" coding machine. As the team breaks through, they must keep the secret and strategically decide which attacks by the German troops will be thwarted and which will not. Stream here.

Mechanic William Kamkwamba is from Malawi and became famous in his home country in 2001 when he made a windmill out of blue eucalyptus, bike parts and material from the local junkyard. He used it to power electrical appliances in his family's home and later even build a solar-powered water pump that, for the first time in history, could provide his village with drinking water. The film "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" is based on Kamkwamba's autobiography and tells the story of his career as a young mechanic. Stream here.

Who can claim to know the Dalai Lama personally? The story of the Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer is as fascinating as it is incredible. When Harrer traveled to the Himalayas in 1939 as part of an expedition to climb Nanga Parbat, he had no idea how long his journey would take. The outbreak of the Second World War changes his situation, as Harrer is interned by the British. One of many escape attempts succeeds and he flees to the nearby mountains. He only comes to rest in the Tibetan capital of Lhasa and waits for the end of the war. But then he gets to know the young Dalai Lama and begins a journey to himself. Not only Heinrich Harrer's story is told in "Seven Years in Tibet", but also the Tibet. Stream here.

"Spotlight" is based on true events that unfolded around a team of journalists from The Boston Globe newspaper in the early 2000s. Investigative research by the team uncovered structural sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Boston. This discovery sparked reactions around the world and continues to this day. In February 2016, the film won an Oscar in the Best Picture category. Stream here.

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