List

Movies about Friends and Neighbors

By Sharon Weinberg

Find feature movies and documentaries about community, friendship, and helping one another.

  • Akeelah and the Bee

    2006

    Akeelah Anderson is good at spelling, yet she is reluctant to represent her school in a spelling bee. She starts to train, hits some bumps along the way, and finds help from those nearby. This is a great story about overcoming obstacles and the importance of community.

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  • The Barefoot Artist

    2015

    This documentary follows artist Lily Yeh, who travels the world to places that experienced trauma and poverty. She collaborates with local people to create public art or structures that tell their story and help to heal what was broken. As Lily's personal story unfolds, we learn about the shattered pieces of her family’s history and their profound effect on her path as an artist.

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  • A Dog's Way Home

    2019

    Separated from her family, canine Bella travels more than 400 miles to get back home, making various friends during her journey, even a cougar cub. This movie pulls at your heartstrings, looking at the bond that develops between humans and dogs. Some of the best scenes are when Bella provides therapy service for veterans at a local hospital.

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  • Fly Away Home

    2001

    Adjusting to her sudden relocation to Canada, a teenage girl adopts an orphaned flock of geese. With the help of her father, she teaches the goslings how to fly and guides them home. A nice reminder that animal neighbors sometimes need human friends and vice versa.

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  • Love & Friendship

    2016

    Frenemies and lovely manners take center stage in this hilarious adaptation of Jane Austen's minor novel, Lady Susan.

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  • En man som heter Ove: A Man Called Ove

    2016

    When a new family moves next door, a grumpy man who is set in his ways rediscovers that true friendship is priceless. Based on the bestselling Swedish novel, themes about youth and aging, grief and recovery, and immigration hit the mark.

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  • My Neighbor Totoro

    2013

    From master filmmaker/animator Hayao Miyazaki, this anime feature has cult status, introducing viewers to the most endearing friendly spirits, including a big-hearted creature named Totoro. Sisters, Satsuki and Mei, move with their father to the countryside to be near their mother while she recovers from a long illness at a local hospital. The girls need a friend to help them cope with uncertain times, and Totoro knows what to do.

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  • Patema Inverted

    Superb, detailed animation marks this feature film. The plot is deep, looking at societal bias and fears, as two young people from parallel worlds become unlikely allies. The friendship and loyalty between the two is engaging and hopeful.

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  • Wonder

    2018

    This is a solid adaptation of the critically acclaimed children’s novel by R.J. Palacio. Fifth grader Auggie Pullman, born with a rare facial deformity, enrolls in a private middle school after being homeschooled for several years. This puts Auggie among many people for the first time in his life. His interactions with new classmates, navigating friend from foe, all ring true.

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  • Won't You Be My Neighbor?

    2018

    This documentary provides a behind-the-scenes look at Fred Rogers, his guiding philosophy, and how he created the groundbreaking TV series Mister Roger's Neighborhood. Certainly, his actions promoting kindness and understanding continue to inspire and to make a difference.

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