Recommended Films

These films highlight or are useful for discussions of the role of corporate money in our political system. Hold a discussion of how we can take back our democracy after you show the film!


Priceless *
Run Time: 60 minutes
Plot Outline: A non-partisan documentary that examines citizen efforts to eliminate a root cause of countless social and environmental problems – the inordinate influence of special interest money in government.
, Official Website

The One Percent
Run Time: 80 Minutes
This hard-hitting but humorous documentary shows real-world examples of the wealth gap. The One Percent refers to the tiny percentage of Americans who control nearly half the wealth of the U.S., and this wealth in the hands of so few people is a danger to our very way of life.
Buy, Official Website

Citizen Koch
Run Time: 90 Minutes
Set against the rise of the Tea Party in the aftermath of the US Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling, a citizen uprising to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker collides with the Tea Party-aligned Americans for Prosperity, a group founded and lavishly financed by two of the world’s richest men David and Charles Koch. As Republican working class voters find themselves in the cross-hairs of their own party and its billionaire backers, they are forced to choose sides.
Buy, Official Website

Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes
Run Time: 80 Minutes
Plot Outline: Pay 2 Play follows filmmaker John Ennis’ quest to find a way out from under the Pay 2 Play System, where Politicians reward their donors with even larger sums from the public treasury — through contracts, tax cuts, and deregulation. Along the way, he journeys through high drama on the Ohio campaign trail, uncovers the secret history of the game Monopoly, and explores the underworld of L.A. street art on a humorous odyssey that reveals how much of a difference one person can make. Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes is the layman’s guidebook to taking back our democracy.
Buy, Official Website

Inequality for All *
Run Time: 89 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country’s widening economic gap.
Buy, Official Website

Koch Brothers Exposed
Run Time: 60 minutes
Plot Outline: The documentary portrays David and Charles Koch’s negative impact on a variety of aspects of American life. Their extraordinary wealth and overwhelming political influence harm many progressive causes, such as the environment, education, campaign finance, and labor rights.
Buy, Official Website

Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream *
Run Time: 70 minutes
Plot Outline: Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney presents his take on the gap between rich and poor Americans. Gibney contends that America’s richest citizens have “rigged the game in their favor,” and created unprecedented inequality in the United States.
Watch online

Education, Inc.
Run Time: 94 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary about how money and politics are changing our schools. Education, Inc. is told through the eyes of parent and filmmaker Brian Malone, as he travels cross-country in search of the answers and sources behind the privatizing of American public education, and what it means for his kids. With striking footage from school protests, raucous school board meetings and interviews with some of the most well-known educators in the country, Malone zooms out to paint a clear picture of profit and politics that’s sweeping across the nation, right under our noses.
Buy, Official Website

An Inconvenient Truth
Run Time: 96 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.
Buy, Official Website

Bowling for Columbine
Run Time: 120 minutes
Plot Outline: Filmmaker Michael Moore explores the roots of America’s predilection for gun violence.
Buy, Official Website

Can Mr. Smith Get to Washington Anymore?
Run Time: 82 minutes
Plot Outline: The inspiring story of a modern-day Mr. Smith’s quixotic campaign to win the 2006 MissouriDemocratic primary with little more than political savvy, tireless work, and passionate leadership over a committed group of grassroots volunteers that grows from a few friends to more than 500 by election day.
Buy, Official Website

Casino Jack
Run Time: 108 minutes
Plot Outline: A hot shot Washington DC lobbyist and his protégé go down hard as their schemes to peddle influence lead to corruption and murder.
, Official Website

The Distinguished Gentleman
Run Time: 112 minutes
Plot Outline: A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the money flows from lobbyists.
Buy, Official Website

Granny D Goes to Washington
Run Time: 27 minutes
Plot Outline: a half-hour documentary that chronicles the extraordinary march across the U.S. by political activist, Doris Haddock. Passionate about democracy, she walked 3,200 miles from California to Washington, D.C. to dramatize the need to restore representative government in America and reduce the role of special interest money in politics.
Official Website

Inside Job
Run Time: 120 minutes
Plot Outline: The first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. The global financial meltdown, at a cost of over $20 trillion, resulted in millions of people losing their homes and jobs. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, Inside Job traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.
, Official Website

Iraq for Sale
Run Time: 75 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary portraying the actions of U.S. corporate contractors in the U.S.-Iraq war.
Buy, Official Website

Mr. Schneider Goes to Washington
Run Time: 92 minutes
Plot Outline: Frustrated by Washington and his apathy towards it, Mr. Schneider is finally shaken off his comfortable couch and compelled to storm to the capital of the world’s only superpower to find out what is going on with his government.
Official Website

Run Time: 123 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary comparing the highly profitable American health care industry to other nations, and HMO horror stories.
Buy, Official Website

Who Killed the Electric Car?
Run Time: 93 minutes
Plot Outline: A documentary that investigates the birth and death of the electric car, as well as the role of renewable energy and sustainable living in the future.
Buy, Official Website

Why We Fight
Run Time: 99 minutes
Plot Outline: Is American foreign policy dominated by the idea of military supremacy? Has the military become too important in American life? Jarecki’s shrewd and intelligent polemic would seem to give an affirmative answer to each of these questions.
Buy, Official Website

The 10 Best Hollywood Movies About Money and Politics, by Gene Seymour:
Duck Soup, 1933
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, 1939
Being There, 1979
Dave, 1993Wag the Dog, 1997
Primary Colors, 1998
Bulworth, 1998
Head of State, 2003
Thank You for Smoking, 2005
Charlie Wilsons War, 2007

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