Home viewing of movies new and old have hit an all-time high due to the pandemic and subsequent movie theater shutdowns. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., many people sought out movies like “Contagion” and “Pandemic” that explored and dramatized a public health crisis.
Now the same is true in the wake of the recent killings of unarmed Black people like Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and most recently, George Floyd. According to Variety, people have been seeking out films that explore the topics of racial injustice and criminal justice reform.
Responding to the times and demand, streaming platforms like Netflix, GooglePlay and Amazon have curated “Black Lives Matter” collections of movies, TV shows and documentaries, with select free offerings. We’ve highlighted a few below.
In an effort to educate viewers about the topic of systemic racism, “Just Mercy” and “Selma” and the documentary “13th” are being offered for free.
“Just Mercy” (2019) stars Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan and dramatizes the real-life story of a wrongly accused death row inmate and a civil rights attorney.
“Our film ‘Just Mercy,’ based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society,” stated a Warner Bros. representative on Twitter. “To actively be part of the change our country is so desperately seeking, we encourage you to learn more about our past and the countless injustices that have led us to where we are today.”
Watch “Just Mercy” for free for the month of June on Amazon, AppleTV, Redbox, GooglePlay, and YouTube.
“13th” (2016), the powerful documentary by Ava DuVernay, is currently free to stream or watch on Netflix’s YouTube channel. The Academy Award-nominated film explores the historical and present-day ills of the U.S. prison system through historians, elected officials, academics, and personal accounts.
“Selma” (2015) DuVernay’s Martin Luther King biopic on the civil rights icon and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches is also available to stream for free.
DuVernay tweeted, “Happy to share: Paramount Pictures is offering SELMA for free rental on all US digital platforms for June, starting today. We’ve gotta understand where we’ve been to strategize where we’re going. History helps us create the blueprint.” Watch “Selma” free for the month of June on YouTube, Apple and Amazon Prime.
Check the streaming platform of your choice, as well as premium cable platforms like Showtime and HBO for more free offerings centered on social justice.