10 Great Movies for History Buffs

For the lovers of world history, collecting books is sometimes not enough. A retelling of past events through films is also a good way to reconnect with our past. Hollywood has no shortage of history and historical fiction films. Here are some that are considered classics in the genre.

1. Lawrence of Arabia (1959)

A classic film of the life of British lieutenant Thomas Edward Lawrence who was able to convince the various Arab tribes to come together to fight the Ottoman Turks. The uprising was called the Arab Revolt in 1916 to 1918.

2. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

Based on the events of the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, it tells of how Hotel des Mille Collines manager Paul Rusesabagina housed Tutsi refugees during the conflict against the Hutu militia.

3. Amistad (1997)

A slave ship, La Amistad, is traveling to North America in 1839 when the members of the Mende tribe successfully launched a mutiny. They were later captured and tried in the court.

4. Letters From Iwo Jima (2006)

The film tells of the historic Battle in Iwo Jima between the Japanese and the Americans during the Second World War II. It is unusual for chronicling the battle from the point of view of Japanese soldiers, most of whom were trapped and have no news of the war elsewhere.

5. Schindler’s List (1993)

Oskar Schindler started an enamelware business where most of his employees were Jewish. When he witnessed the execution of the Jews, he began to employ more Jewish workers in his factory to save them from Nazi Germans in World War II.

6. Braveheart (1995)

Scottish knight William Wallace’s wife Murron MacClannough was tried and executed when she fought off her assailants. His rampage at an English garrison was just the beginning of his role in the Wars of Scottish Independence.

7. Invictus (2009)

Newly-elected president of South Africa Nelson Mandela proposed to create a national rugby team to compete in the World Cup in 1995. The event is held in South Africa where there is still tension from the dismantling of the apartheid system.

8. Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

Balian of Ibelin is recruited by his father Baron Godfrey and becomes a leading figure in the defence of the Kingdom of Jerusalem against Sultan Saladin. An epic castle siege is one of the film’s best features.

9. Ben-Hur (1959)

The rich prince and merchant Judah Ben-Hur was betrayed by his childhood friend Messala who is a commander of a Roman garrison. Ben-Hur promises to return to take revenge.

10. The Last Emperor (1987)

Puyi ascends the throne as a young boy when the Empress Dowager Cixi passed away. His reign marked a tumultuous time in history. He went to Tientsin when he has exiled after the Beijing Coup. Later he was imprisoned by the Communist Party of China in the 1950s.