5 Must-Watch Movies For Every Student Looking For Inspiration

Movies are often our go-to for entertainment and a getaway from our mundane lives, especially for students. Given the challenging situations and roles our student lives throw upon us, we sometimes become disoriented and lose sight. In these situations, movies act as a medium of inspiration. They teach us about life, love and passion. Movies are where we live most of our dreams; this larger than life set portrays our alter egos on the big screen.

Every film has its own message; while some are just for entertainment, many give a lesson or two about people, and sometimes they also reveal deeper, darker truths about life.

So here’s a list of 5 movies which every student must watch for inspiration, and which will act as gentle reminders of positivity when things go astray.

1. 3 Idiots (2009)

This had to be the first one. This gem from Rajkumar Hirani really changes your perception about ‘education.’ This is a movie about three engineering students and their life in one of India’s topmost technical institutions. It is a story of how Farhan (R. Madhavan) and Raju (Sharman Joshi), subduing their respective creative passions, become a part of the rat race (because hey, parents! Hey, society!) and how their friend Rancho (Aamir Khan) teaches them to follow their heart as every student should; because happiness and contentment lie in doing what you love.

The underlying message of the movie is echoed by the famous saying: “Do what you love and you won’t have to work a single day in your life.” The movie challenges and defies the age old notions of rote-learning and tells how innovation, passion and love for what you do are the only true indicators of a content professional life.

2. Dead Poets Society (1989)

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.”

This movie directed by Peter Weir and written by Tom Schulman, is an American drama film about an English teacher John Keating (Robin Williams), who embodies himself and inspires his students to adorn the virtues of innovation and creativity without fear. He employs his unconventional and unorthodox teaching methods and creates an everlasting impact in the hearts of his students.
This film encourages students to explore and believe and think, and exposes them to the importance of the humane aspects of themselves. It makes them aware that the power of words and ideas is revolutionary and encourages students to ‘make their lives extraordinary’ and ‘seize the day.’

3. The Breakfast Club (1985)

An American comedy drama directed, written and produced by John Hughes, this movie is about how five students from different backgrounds end up together for an all-day detention and open up to each other. Gradually, their conversation helps them develop a sense of comfort and encourages them to confide in each other. This movie is about finding and discovering friendship in the most unexpected way at the most unexpected place, which is the reality of life.

It teaches you how every student has his/her own needs and each holds a different perspective. It focuses on how students should be allowed to grow, and not just be constantly corrected. It also shows us how varied people put in a common situation can learn much from the situation and also each other. While exploring the intricacies of friendship, the film also mildly touches on how humans are wired to react in different situations.

4. Udaan (2010)

Directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, this critically acclaimed movie has 17-year-old Rohan (Rajat Barmecha) who is expelled from the boarding school along with three of his friends, when they are caught by their warden watching an adult movie. He returns home to his strict father (Ronit Roy) and Arjun, his 6-year-old half brother. His father demands that he should take engineering classes, but Rohan just wants to be a writer. As expected, he’s not allowed to follow his dreams (sounds familiar?). When he is not busy between classes and late-night drinking bouts at the bar, Rohan begins to bond with Arjun, and it turns out the two of them have more in common than he initially thought.

This movie personifies many of our lives, where we’ve we had to let go of our passion and embrace conventional professions according to whims and fancies of others. This movie rightfully justifies its title and pushes us to give ‘flight’ to our calling.

5. The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)

Any inspirational list is incomplete without the mention of this delightful series. While it defines childhood for many of us, it is a go-to movie series for many others.
The movies follow the story of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), whose 11th birthday brings to him a world-changing revelation (quite literally) and he is exposed to the world of wizardry magic. This movie acts as a perfect metaphor for life and people you deal with everyday; how love, courage, loyalty, hope are the magic ingredients that make our lives beautiful.

It teaches you the importance of loyalty (to what you believe in), the strength that having hope and being truthful gives you, the defining value of our choices and the importance of making the right choices. These teachings will help students battle the nuances they will continuously face in their lives, and will always guide them towards the path that is right for them.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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