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Social Issue Dramas on Netflix

Last updated September 18, 2019

Monsieur Lazhar Poster

Monsieur Lazhar

2011 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

When an Algerian immigrant seeking asylum in Montreal takes a job replacing an elementary school teacher who committed suicide, he finds that his own secret, tragic background enables him to help the children deal with their loss.
Details about Monsieur Lazhar

The Women of Brewster Place Poster

The Women of Brewster Place

1989 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

Booted out of her parents' house after refusing to identify her unborn baby's father, Mattie Michael moves to a run-down housing project on Brewster Place, where she joins a group of strong-minded women battling poverty, bigotry and other woes.
Details about The Women of Brewster Place

The Women of Brewster Place Poster

The Women of Brewster Place

1989 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

A single mother moves to a tumbledown housing project on Brewster Place, where she meets a group of strong-minded women facing similar woes. During the course of three decades, the ladies do battle against abject poverty, bigotry and unreliable men.
Details about The Women of Brewster Place

Money Matters Poster

Money Matters

2011 | NR | 3.9 out of 5 Stars

Monique "Money" Matters attends a Catholic school three bus rides away from her inner-city life and her emotionally troubled mother. When she makes a friend in her own neighborhood, she confronts her fragile home life in ways she never imagined.
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People Will Talk Poster

People Will Talk

1951 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Dr. Praetorius is a professor at a dull Midwestern college who impresses those around him with his unorthodox ways of teaching. Out of the blue, Praetorius falls in love with an unattached pregnant woman, spiraling him into uncharted territory.
Details about People Will Talk

Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin Poster

Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin

1995 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

When wealthy socialite Annabella Lagrange learns that her real mother is a madam at the local brothel, she flees the family estate with a childhood friend, and the two begin a new life in the working-class world.
Details about Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin

Harlem Aria Poster

Harlem Aria

1999 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Harlem kid Anton (Gabriel Casseus) is young, black and gifted with a voice of operatic beauty. A mental disability can't hamper his plans for stardom, which combust when Anton hears pianist Matthew (Christian Camargo) playing Verdi in the park and breaks into song. While Matthew is cynical and Anton too trusting, silver-tongued street buddy Wes (Damon Wayans) has enough gumption to go around, and he's determined to land the duo in the limelight.
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The Cider House Rules Poster

The Cider House Rules

1999 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

A surrogate son and protégé to a kindly physician who runs an orphanage in rural Maine, itchy Homer Wells sets off wide-eyed to see the world -- but cold reality soon intrudes on his youthful idealism and moral certitude.
Details about The Cider House Rules

A Stoning in Fulham County Poster

A Stoning in Fulham County

1988 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Based on a true story, this thought-provoking drama profiles two fathers: an Amish man whose young child is killed by reckless teens, and the prosecutor who tries to bring the youths to justice despite the condemnation he faces from the community.
Details about A Stoning in Fulham County

We the Party Poster

We the Party

2012 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Mario Van Peebles directs this dramedy that explores the ups and downs of a group of high school friends trying to negotiate their way through the sometimes treacherous waters of relationships, money, sex, identity and social media.
Details about We the Party

Pope Pius XII Poster

Pope Pius XII

2010 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This controversial miniseries explores the German occupation of Rome during World War II, and the Vatican's reaction to the Nazis' treatment of Jews. James Cromwell stars as Pope Pius XII, as he struggles to save Vatican City from destruction.
Details about Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII Poster

Pope Pius XII

2010 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This controversial miniseries explores the German occupation of Rome during World War II, and the Vatican's reaction to the Nazis' treatment of Jews. James Cromwell stars as Pope Pius XII, as he struggles to save Vatican City from destruction.
Details about Pope Pius XII

Hard Lessons Poster

Hard Lessons

1986 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

This drama based on a true story stars Denzel Washington as George McKenna, the tough, determined new principal of a notorious Los Angeles high school. Life is full of hard lessons for McKenna, who risks it all by going head-to-head with the drug-infested, gang-run war zone known as George Washington High.
Details about Hard Lessons

La Mission Poster

La Mission

2009 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Ultra-macho ex-con Che Rivera learns the true meaning of being a father when he discovers his son is gay. At first, he turns violent. But when a beautiful neighbor helps him see through his anger, he begins to reconcile his long-held beliefs.
Details about La Mission

Black Butterfly Poster

Black Butterfly

2010 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Sixteen-year-old Ariel is training for a U.S. Olympics Swim Team tryout when she's brutally raped. Now she must find the inner strength to deal with the pain and repercussions of her attack if she's to make her Olympic dreams come true.
Details about Black Butterfly

Joy Road Poster

Joy Road

2004 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

When he agrees to defend his sister's shady boyfriend against a murder charge, ambitious urban lawyer Tony Smalls finds himself sucked back into life in the 'hood -- and squaring off against a criminal justice system stacked against his client.
Details about Joy Road

The Rainmaker Poster

The Rainmaker

1997 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

When young attorney Rudy Baylor goes to work for a seedy ambulance chaser, he wants to help the parents of a terminally ill boy sue their insurance company. But to take on corporate America, Rudy and a scrappy paralegal must open their own law firm.
Details about The Rainmaker

Cry, the Beloved Country Poster

Cry, the Beloved Country

1995 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Shot in the aftermath of Nelson Mandela's election, this film adaptation of South African author Alan Paton's novel tells the story of two men -- one black, one white -- who must cope with family tragedy in the apartheid era. Rural minister Stephen Kumalo (James Earl Jones) travels to Johannesburg in search of his troubled son, while white landowner James Jarvis (Richard Harris) comes to the city to attend to his activist son's murder.
Details about Cry, the Beloved Country

Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin Poster

Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin

1995 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

When wealthy socialite Annabella Lagrange learns that her real mother is a madam at the local brothel, she flees the family estate with a childhood friend, and the two begin a new life in the working-class world.
Details about Catherine Cookson's The Glass Virgin

Snow on Tha Bluff Poster

Snow on Tha Bluff

2011 | NR | 3.8 out of 5 Stars

Set in urban Atlanta, this hyperreal gangster drama centers on kinetic dope dealer Curtis Snow, who nabs a video camera off a pair of college kids, then begins recording the deals, deliveries and shoot-outs that comprise his daily operation.
Details about Snow on Tha Bluff

Trade of Innocents Poster

Trade of Innocents

2012 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

In present day South East Asia, down dark alleys, in secret rooms, children are for sale. Parallel story lines intertwine and twists unfold against the backdrop of the dangerous human trafficking world, in a story of struggle, hope and redemption.
Details about Trade of Innocents

Kidulthood Poster

Kidulthood

2006 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

In this gritty, powerful drama about lost innocence, classes are suspended when a schoolgirl who's been bullied one too many times hangs herself, allowing a clique of tough-as-nails teenagers to have free rein of the inner-city streets.
Details about Kidulthood

Sarafina! Poster

Sarafina!

1992 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

Catch this inspirational story about a girl battling the oppression of apartheid in South Africa. Schoolgirl Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) lives in Soweto. Her mother lives in Johannesburg, where she works for a white family. Missing her mother, Sarafina puts her energy into fighting for freedom. When police shoot and kill protesting students supporting their teacher (Whoopi Goldberg), Sarafina is arrested as a demonstrator and faces prison and torture.
Details about Sarafina!

Bitter Harvest Poster

Bitter Harvest

1981 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

When cows on their dairy farm suddenly begin dropping like flies, Kate and Ned De Vries (Tarah Nutter and Ron Howard) discover that their land has been contaminated with chemicals. Before long, their family begins to suffer the effects as well. But every effort they make to seek government assistance is met with red tape and rejection. This powerful made-for-television drama was nominated for four Emmy Awards.
Details about Bitter Harvest

Gentleman's Agreement Poster

Gentleman's Agreement

1947 | NR | 3.7 out of 5 Stars

Enterprising reporter Phil Green (Gregory Peck), eager to blow the lid off anti-Semitism, accepts an assignment to pen a series of frank exposés for a progressive magazine. Looking for a new angle, Green poses as a Jew and soon endures the full spectrum of bigotry -- from being denied a job and use of public facilities to his son suffering a beating. Little by little, the journalist comes to understand the cruel effects of prejudice.
Details about Gentleman's Agreement







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