5 Stories That Are Critically Relevant to the 2020 Election
COVID-19 has dominated the news so much you may have forgotten that there’s an election happening at the end of this year. When toilet paper is scarce and going out to eat or drink is no longer a thing, who can blame us for not having politics on our minds? But that’s not going to stop the 2020 election from happening. Even if the world were ending, Joe Biden and Donald Trump are probably going to duke it out in some capacity.
Regardless of which side of the political aisle you belong, there are some universal issues that both candidates will likely address, including some that have recently bubbled to the surface — and some that stay on surfaces for up to five days. To help you brush up on your politics, we’ve rounded up six Topic titles that offer new perspectives on some of the most pressing platform issues of our time. Watch to get a crash course before November — hopefully, we’ll have toilet paper again by then.
1. Silent Rose
Issue: Racial Tension, Political Division, and Gen Z
“Silent Rose” is an earnest and gripping drama set in a high school in the aftermath of the 2016 election. Still reeling from the murder of Trayvon Martin, the students now must face a presidency built on discrimination. During a time of increasing racial tension, school lockdown drills, and disinformation campaigns, “Silent Rose” is an uber-realistic portrayal (much of the dialogue was re-created from the actors’ real-life stories) of how young people navigate today’s socially and politically fraught climate.
Issue: Climate Change
Climate change is, and will likely continue to be, one of the most pressing issues of our lifetime. This 2010 documentary, narrated by Tilda Swinton, takes a look at how normal everyday people do their part to combat global warming, from students in India organizing demonstrations, to Papua New Guineans protesting commercial logging in their forests, to a London PR executive helping companies become more environmentally sustainable. Not only does “Climate of Change” prove that environmental change can happen at all levels, but it’s a great inspirational guide for our own everyday efforts.
3. The Zo
Issue: Prison Reform
Referencing prison jargon for The Twilight Zone, “The Zo” is a haunting animated documentary about the American prison system. Based on a Yale University student’s thesis, “The Zo” gives viewers a disturbing glimpse at how prison guards wage psychological terrorism on inmates by intentionally disorienting them. Tactics range from giving inmates impossible tasks to randomly throwing them into isolation with no explanation. Created in partnership with The Marshall Project, this documentary is a powerful resource for those who advocate for prison reform.
Issue: Alt-Right Politics / White Nationalism
For anyone still wondering how Donald Trump was able to win the 2016 election, this is a must watch. Based on sociologist Michael’s Kimmel’s acclaimed book of the same name, “Angry White Men” is a sobering but illuminating glimpse into the angry and hate-driven demographic that propelled Trump into office. The film explores how ideologies of intolerance are used to galvanize everyday people and sheds light on those trying to reverse course. Think of it as a cautionary tale for what happens when you let hate go unchecked.
Issue: War and Humanitarian Law
Based on true events, “The Kill Team” tells the story of a young U.S. Army soldier in Afghanistan who witnesses his sergeant commanding his fellow recruits to kill innocent civilians. When he tries to expose them, he pits himself against his platoon at deadly costs. The film is a tense study of what war can bring out of you, from wavering morals to sheer bloodthirstiness. In the larger context of the War in Afghanistan, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives from all sides, “The Kill Team” underscores the devastating ramifications of a war that many consider to be unwinnable.