Flip to any television channel and you're bound to find at least one holiday film or Christmas themed episode of your favorite show. When it comes to Christmas movies, everyone thinks of them as little fluff pieces exalting the joys of the holiday season. This hold true for most films, but many of them still managed to make politically charged statements on the world today.
10) Nothing Like the Holidays/This Christmas – Another take on having a white Christmas; Puerto Rican flavor spices up Nothing and This Christmas has an urban, musical feel. Both films touch upon the affects of war and the how hard it can be for veterans to return and adjust to life at home.
9) Die Hard – Not your typical Christmas movie, but the action film does a great job of showing the dangers of corporatism – an international problem this time – with Bruce Willis’ memorable one-liners sprinkled throughout the film. Plus, nothing feels better than watching Willis defeat the bad guys and win back his wife, who too realizes that money isn’t everything.
8) What Would Jesus Buy? – Morgan Spurlock’s documentary highlights another side of the holidays, forcing viewers to consider the effects of commercializing Christmas. Whether you agree with his assessment of the situation or not, its undeniable that he raises some thought-provoking and timely questions.
7) Joyeaux Noel – The true story of the one night of peace during World War I when the Germans, French, and Scottish come together to see the humanity in each other. Showing viewers that even the bitterest enemy is still a person even though its something we often forget.
6) Love Actually – A medley of love stories tied together by the magic of Christmas. Though not the epitome of “political,” some vignettes depict provocative issues, like the reaction of the British prime minister (played by the charming Hugh Grant) to an uncouth American president (Billy Bob Thornton’s) attempted seduction of a young British cabinet member.
5) Elf – Will Ferrell as an elf; “nuff said. Elf is a heartwarming tale of a man trying to spread the joy of Christmas to some people who have forgotten why the holiday is so special. And in a way, Elf is great commentary on the (lack of) rights a father has over his child (just think, if Ed Asner had known that Buddy existed, would he have grown up an elf?) as well as the consequences of sealed adoption records.
4) The Nativity Story – The film does its best to tell the epic story of Baby Jesus’ birth i.e. the birth of Christmas. Not the most political in the traditional sense, but this was probably one of the last times an Ethiopian, an Asian, and an Arab (ahem, the three wise men) came together in peace to bring a Jewish baby a Christmas gift.
3) A Christmas Story – The quintessential holiday tale of a bygone era, when everyone’s biggest worry was the Soviets dropping the A-bomb and whether or not Santa was going to bring you a BB Gun for Christmas.
2) A Christmas Carol – Greed at its worst. Today, Scrooge would be called the leader to the wealthy 1%. However, the pure disdain with which he treats poverty and London’s lower class makes our 99% look like ballers.
1) It’s a Wonderful Life – Nothing is more classic or timely than this film. The story of a man who contemplates ending it all after he loses everything during the Depression hits a little to close to home for many this holiday season. However, the Frank Capra classic does remind us that everyone contributes something special to the world.
Photo Credit: s_herman