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Era: Late Modern

18th Century – 19th Century
The Industrial Revolution and the wealth generated by colonialism spur Europe and the nascent United States to unexpected dominance, destabilizing older world powers in the process. Rising levels of literacy worldwide create schisms in local cultures and between religious communities. With the birth of the nation-state, nationalism moves onto the world stage, sparking revolutions and rebellions and pushing a world-wide shift from “subject” to “citizen.”

'Breaker' Morant (Breaker Morant)

  • Director: Bruce Beresford
  • Release Date: 1980
  • Production Country: Australia

Three Australian enlisted men find themselves on trial for war crimes after they execute several Boer prisoners and the German missionary who was the only witness. The men insist they were acting under orders, while their officers want to convince the military establishment that the three men were loose cannons operating outside both the law and human decency.

12 Years a Slave

  • Director: Steve McQueen
  • Release Date: 2013
  • Production Country: United States

A free black man from New York is abducted and sold into slavery. He deals with the brutal reality of being a slave in the Deep South, submitting in order to survive in a culture that sees him as less than human, yet holding on to his own sense of self worth and humanness if he is to fulfill his dream of escaping and returning back to his life as a free man.

15 Février 1839 (February 15, 1839)

  • Director: Pierre Falardeau
  • Release Date: 2001
  • Production Country: Canada

Sentenced to death for rebelling against the oppressive, British-backed government in Montreal, two French Canadians have one last day to look back upon their lives and reflect on what they wanted to achieve by revolting—and what they actually accomplished.


  • Director: Peter H. Hunt
  • Release Date: 1972
  • Production Country: United States

Improvisation and compromise are the games of the day, as John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerce a reluctant Thomas Jefferson into authoring the Declaration of Independence as a desperate stalling tactic while they scramble to convince enough of their fellow landholders to vote for separation from Great Britain–a tall order, since the one man who insisted the vote must be unanimous is not inclined to agree with their notion that independence is the future for the Colonies.

A Man Called Horse

  • Director: Elliot Silverstein
  • Release Date: 1970
  • Production Country: United States

After years of enslavement by a band of Lakota, an English aristocrat realizes that his only chance of freedom is to adopt the ways of his captors—but freedom is not the same as escape. If he becomes civilized according to Lakota culture, enough so that he can move freely among them, will that render him unfit for England and her idea of "civilized" life if he should ever have the chance to return?

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