5 Independence Day Films To Watch Instead Of “Independence Day”

Not a single Will Smith movie in sight

Every Fourth of July beckons us to support our troops, celebrate our nation’s independence and watch fireworks. But sometimes it can be worthwhile to spend some time thinking about all of the other people in the world who’ve fought for their independence as well.

One way to do so is to sit back and relax with friends and family and watch a few movies that might remind us all that our nation’s founders weren’t the only people to rebel.

V for Vendetta

This fictional film based off of the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore is not necessarily about the independence of one nation from another, but more about the independence of the people from the tyranny of the slightly-futuristic British government. The 2009 movie adaptation has been a hit ever since it was released, and it would be a great addition to any Fourth of July.


Most people are familiar with Gandhi and what he stood for, but sometimes his legacy is limited to just a few inspirational quotes. Taking time to watch a movie that shows how people themselves can defeat colonialism is a great way to celebrate this holiday. Instead of bastardizing the native Americans whose home we stole with nationalist celebration, learning about Gandhi’s fight against the British is a much better way to spend this weekend.

October: Ten Days That Shook the World

If you’re looking for a more historical drama, silent no less, then this Russian telling of the Bolshevik revolution is perfect. The story follows the October 1917 overthrow of the Russian Tsar and the revolution that was led by Vladimir Lenin. As socialism becomes less vilified and more talked about in American politics, it may be a good time to expose your family to the Bolsheviks.

Cinco de Mayo, La Batalla

In this 2013 retelling of the Cinco de Mayo, director Rafael Lara takes us back to 1862, almost 100 years after the American Revolutionary War. There has been much rising tension with Mexico as of late because of Donald Trump’s racist comments, but there could be hope to make citizens sympathize with the Mexican people if they were to watch this film. While Cinco de Mayo is not the holiday commemorating Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, this film gives a glimpse into the fearlessness of the people who fought for freedom from France.

The Battle of Algiers

In 1966 the Algerian government commissioned this film to be made to tell both sides of their revolution. From 1954 to 1962 the Algerian War ran its bloody course, and this film adaptation attempts to show that both sides of the conflict participated in heinous acts of war. A war film like this has the ability to make us reflect on the bloodshed and brutality of any war, and we should reflect on the lives lost in the reactions to tyranny.

via International Monetary Fund / Flickr and Streetsblog Denver / Flickr

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