Some movies touch us and leave a lasting impression for days. Movies based on true stories, however, sometimes reach much deeper than that.

Nothing affects our souls like movies based on true stories.

They are poignant, infuriating, and raw, to say the least. Unlike fiction, true stories take life experiences and turn them into a story that can influence how we feel about humanity itself.

Among the true stories made into a film, there are a few which go so much deeper into who we are. They reach places untouched by other films, and areas of the soul otherwise unaffected.

These movies based on true stories are some of the best-known adaptions of our time.

1. Elephant (2003)

Based on the true account of The Columbine Massacre of 1999, a high school shooting at an Oregon high school, Elephant shows the raw details of 24 injured and 13 dead students. This event created a huge uproar, including the onset of the gun law debate that the U.S. still experiences today.

Elephant received good critique but also sparked controversy. It was feared that copycat school shootings would commence after the film. Maybe they did…

2. The Rite (2011)

Some movies, based on true stories, which leave a mark on the soul, are actually frightening. In The Rite, a training priest, questioning his faith and future, decides to embark upon a class on exorcism in Rome. He meets a priest and witnesses an exorcism that will change his life.

He watches as the priest himself becomes possessed by the same demon he tried to cast out. This story was based on the true accounts and life history of father Gary Thomas of the Sacred Heart parish in Saratoga, California. Thomas was one of 14 certified exorcists in the world.

3. Loving (2016)

An interracial couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, face the truth of life in 1960’s America. They are arrested when they decide to wed, as interracial marriage in certain southern American states was illegal at the time – the couple resided in Virginia, which is one of these states.

They also face the danger of racist actions and harassment by neighbors and authorities around their hometown. Of course, they wage war against the system which results in the historic Supreme Court decision in 1967 to change these laws against discrimination.

4. Boys don’t cry (1999)

This horrific and deeply unsettling true story will leave you heartbroken. Brandon, a transgender man seeks a normal life while hiding the fact that he was born a woman. During the time that he meets new acquaintances and makes new friends, Brandon also falls in love.

The object of his affection discovers that Brandon is transgender but fortunately, still vows her love to him. His so-called friends, however, aren’t as accepting when they discover the news. The story turns tragic because of this lack of acceptance.

This is a must-see but yet, a story that will stay with you for some time.

5. Monster (2003)

The story of Eileen Wuornos is truly a tragic tale. On the surface, you might view Wuornos as just another female serial killer, but looking deeper, you will see her immense pain. From childhood until her death, Wuornos was plagued by her own demons and sexual assault by her victims.

Somewhere along the way, her logic became clouded and her mental illnesses kept her from making the right decisions. Check it out for yourself, and discover why this film is one you will never forget.

6. Changling (2008)

A woman’s son goes missing and the police find him…or do they? Even though the authorities insist that the missing child has been found, his mother insists that this child is not hers. She does take care of him but never stops searching for her “real” son.

Make sure you view this one to see if this boy is truly the missing son of a desperate lady, or is her son somewhere else, lost …or something much worse?

7. Philomena (2013)

Some stories are frightening, while others leave a hollow feeling deep within. The story of Philomena, a woman searching for her long-lost son is a story of raw sorrow.

In 1952, Philomena, a young girl in Ireland, becomes pregnant. Her parents, fearing embarrassment, send her to a convent to give birth.

Her child is taken away from her and she lives the rest of her life without him, having searched in vain for over 50 years. An American journalist, interested in Philomena’s story decides to help her. The two form a bond in the process.

8. Fruitvale Station (2013)

Fruitvale Station is the story of a man who dies because of assumptions and fear. The true story of Oscar Grant III, a man who has just lost his job, just had a fight with his girlfriend about infidelity, and had an altercation with a former inmate from the previous jail term is now dead.

Why? Police brutality and gun violence is all the talk in the United States. That’s why this film is so important and leaves such a mark on the soul. We fail to see things from both sides and make judgments about the character of human beings.

This movie takes a close look at violence and how this violence can be avoided. It also shows us how profiling and privilege have influenced the U.S. nation.

What shall we do with these feelings

There are many true stories made into movies and some which will leave scars. So, what shall we do with the imprints left by these films? Whether we are left in tears, clenching our fists, or shivering in fear, we are left with the truth.

After watching films of this nature, maybe we can ask ourselves two important questions…”How can we make the world a better place? And…

“What do we truly believe in?”


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