Inspiring Global Health Films

This is a crowd-sourced list of over 75 inspiring, must-watch movies focused on global health topics

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As I get ready to teach my global health course online this year, I wanted to compile a list of great movies focused on global health topics.

I posed the question on Twitter and received a large number of suggestions. Here is the compilation of over 75 films (as of June 2021) recommended by a variety of people. I have provided a hyperlink to a website with more details on each movie. The list is alphabetically organized using the movie title.

I am grateful to all those who contributed to this list. I will aim to keep it updated, roughly on a quarterly basis, as I am doing with a similar list of global health books.

Happy viewing!

Title of the film



A doctor’s dream: A pill for sleeping sickness



And The Band Played On

Roger Spottiswoode

Antibiotic resistance 

Nitai Steinberg 


Penny Marshall

Be Your Sisters' Keeper

Maisha Fiti

Bending The Arc

Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos (now on Netflix)

Birth In Nepal

Subina Shrestha

C'era una volta la città dei matti (There was once the city of the mad

Marco Turco

Chernobyl (2019)

Craig Mazin


Steven Soderbergh

Dallas Buyers Club

Jean-Marc Vallee

Dark Waters

Todd Haynes

Dirty Pretty Things

Stephen Frears

Doctors of War

Nathaniel Lippiett 

El Susto!

Karen Akins

Erin Brockovich

Steven Soderbergh

Escape Fire

Susan Froemke, Matthew Heineman

Ek Doctor Ki Maut

Tapan Sinha

Fire In The Blood

Dylan Mohan Gray

For Sama

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts

From Durban To Tomorrow

Dylan Mohan Gray


Satyajit Ray

God Loves Uganda

Roger Ross Williams

Hear Our Voices - Mental Health in a Developing World

Programme for Improving Mental Healthcare (PRIME)

Heroines of Health

Lisa Russell


Kesang Tseten Lama

How I Live

Meghan Shea and Mike Rogers

How To Survive A Plague

David France

I Am Belmaya

Sue Carpenter 

Inside Story

Rolie Nikiwe

In Our Hands

Millie Harvey

Knock on my door

The Specialty Hospital in Jordaan and produced by Fawzi Al Hammouri, Abdullah Haymour and Rania Al Shadeed. 

Life and Debt

Stephanie Black

Life In A Day


Kevin Macdonald


Saw Eh Doh Poe, Nann Win May Aye and Nwaye Zar Che Soe 

Living without limits

BBC StoryWorks for the Helmsley Charitable Trust. 

Living in Emergency

Mark Hopkins


Ann S. Kim & Priya Giri Desai

Man Facing Southeast

Eliseo Subiela

Medicine Man

John McTiernan

Merchants Of Doubt

Robert Kenner

Minutes To Die

James Reid


Jeff Kaufman

Nothing Without Us: The Women Who Will End AIDS

Harriet Hirshorn


Wolfgang Petersen

Out of Breath

Hein Seok


Bong Joon Ho

Period. End of Sentence.

Rayka Zehtabchi

Phir Milenge



Sophie Harman & Leanne Welham

Pills Profits Protest

Shanti Avirgan

Poverty, Inc.

Michael Matheson Miller

Priya's Mask

Ram Devineni & Shubhra Prakash 

Rabbit- Proof Fence

Phillip Noyce


Michael Graziano

RX for Survival: A Global Health Challenge

Gail Willumsen


Connie Field


Macherie Ekwa Bahango

Ship of Theseus

Anand Gandhi


Michael Moore

Something Like a War


Deepa Dhanraj

Smile Pinki

Megan Mylan

State of Mind


Hopewell Chin'ono


Arthur Pratt

That Sugar Film

Damon Gameau

The Devil We know

Stephanie Soechtig 

The Insider

Michael Mann

The Lucky Specials

Rea Rangaka

The Physician

Philipp Stölzl

The Lazarus Effect

David Gelb

The Constant Gardener

Fernando Meirelles

TISHALA: Nothing to Lose Emmanuel Yegon

Toilet. A Love Story

Shree Narayan Singh

The Life Equation

Rob Tinworth

The Necessities of Life (Ce qu'il faut pour vivre) 

Benoit Pilon


 Danis Tanovic

The Price of Free

Derek Doneen

Township Yogi

Peter Matthews

United in Anger

Jim Hubbard

Unmasked: We All Breathe

Janet Tobias

Virus (2019)

Aashiq Abu

War & Grace

Sonia Lowman 

We Were Here

David Weissman

Welcome To Sodom

Florian Weigensamer & Christian Krönes

What Doesn't Kill Me

Rachel Meyrick 

What The Health

Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn


Lauren Anders Brown

Yellow Card

John Riber

93 Days

Steve Gukas

Madhukar Pai

Associate Director, McGill International TB Centre

I am a Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology & Global Health at McGill University, Montreal. I serve as the Associate Director of the McGill International TB Centre. URL:


Go to the profile of Onaoluwa Abimbola
about 2 years ago

Wow!  I'm so behind with movies.  Only ever  heard of two before - Contagion and 93 days (Stella Adadevoh of Nigeria'a Ebola story I think) , but not watched any of them.

Go to the profile of Himadri Bhusan Bal
about 2 years ago


You made my task easy. 

Can you add another two movies to the list

Doctor Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
The Story of Louis Pasteur