Films that Define our Generation

Beth Graham

Films have the unique ability to define a generation in history, acting as a relatable gateway into our lives. Our generation is a complicated but incredible one filled with constant change in every aspect, from our world itself to our society. So who better to ask for these generation-defining films than students from the second year of Film and Moving Image Production here at NUA? Be sure to check out a few of these titles, they are all very unique and encapsulate different perceptions of our own generation. 

Bethany Graham: Hurricane Bianca (Matt Kugelman, 2016) 

To start off this list I’m going to have to go with a guilty pleasure of mine, Hurricane Bianca. After winning season six of the hit TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag queen Bianca Del Rio (also known as Roy Haylock) stars in this fictional film that mirrors her own life. A New York City teacher is forced to move to a small town in Texas in which he is fired from his teaching position for being gay. In retaliation, he returns as Miss Bianca Del Rio to firstly get revenge on the town and secondly to give the children the education they deserve. Although the film is campy fun, amongst its jokes and piles of fake lashes, there is real heart to the story. It mocks the unfair treatment that members of the LQBTQ+ and drag communities still face to this day in our generation. 

Lulia Nistor: Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, 2014) 

The film that defines our generation in my eyes is Whiplash because it is so relevant. It shows how a teacher or a mentor can have a great impact on a young person and how they can improve our mental health. There so many artists who gave up on their dream just because the person who they were looking up to brought their moral down – I know I almost did. As Millennials growing in an ever-changing world, our core is quite fragile which is why anxiety and depression are so common in our generation. That means that even the slightest negativity can destroy the dreamer inside of us. 

Bradley Tye: Chasing Amy (Kevin Smith, 1997) 

Chasing Amy is a story about a man who falls in love with a lesbian and how their complicated relationship develops. As our generation becomes more aware and educated about LQBTQ+ issues thanks to social media, it’s great to have a movie that not only captured the complexity of them but also did so without agenda or propaganda, creating something timeless and easily digestible. A must-see classic. 

Bram Kwantes: Avengers: Infinity War (Anthony and Joe Russo, 2018) 

I hate to be the one to point to Marvel, but Infinity War is just so perfectly a product of our generation. Never before has there been a payoff to a multi-character universe 10 years in the making. It reflects a diverse universe trying incredibly hard to work together and stand up for each other against dark forces. They might not succeed immediately, but they sure as sh*t are trying. To me, that feels a lot like us – our generation. 

Georgia Hardcastle: Mustang (Deniz Gamze Ergüven, 2015) 

A contemporary story of girls refusing to submit to traditional oppression. Mustang is beautifully naturalistic, depicting sisterhood and tackling specific Turkish issues from a universally recognisable angle. The fierce young women at the heart of this story, for me, reflect my generation’s progress towards empowerment but also how young we still are – and how far we still have to go. 

Words: Beth Graham, Storehouse Content Team, @beth_grahamm

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