19 December 2011

12 films that have survival and/or self-reliance themes

Back in September, one of our Prep30 posts discussed enhancing your self-reliant and preparedness thinking by reading fiction that involves surviving catastrophes and/or self-reliant themes. It can also be helpful to watch movies (or television shows) that involve these themes too.

Here are a dozen such videos to get you started, listed in alphabetical order. You can click on the films' titles to check out the Amazon.com movie page. A synopsis of each video is provided following the title, and below the text are trailers or clips. Enjoy!

The Book of Eli (2010)
This story revolves around Eli, a nomad in a post-apocalyptic world, who is told by a voice to deliver his copy of a mysterious book to a safe location on the West Coast of the United States. The history of the post-war world is explained along the way as is the importance of Eli's task.

Carriers (2009)
An infectious virus has spread worldwide, killing almost everyone. Two brothers, Brian and Danny, along with Brian's girlfriend Bobby and Danny's school friend Kate, are heading to a southwestern U.S. place called Turtle Beach, a secluded utopian beach in the Gulf of Mexico, where they believe they can wait for the viral pandemic to die out.

Cast Away (2000)
The tale of a FedEx employee who becomes stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The film depicts his successful attempts to survive on the island using remnants of his plane's cargo, as well as his attempt to escape and return to society.

Contagion (2011)
The story follows the rapid progress of a lethal indirect contact transmission virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving pandemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than does the virus itself. As the virus spreads around the world, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.

The Day After (1983)
The film portrays a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. It focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated next to nuclear missile silos.

First Blood (1982)
Green Beret vet John Rambo wanders into the wrong small town to find a fellow Vietnam buddy and gets beaten by the local law enforcement. Rambo strikes back the only way he knows how, leading to a visceral, although sometimes unrealistic, flight and fight through the local mountains.

Flight of the Phoenix (2004)
A group of people who survive a plane crash in the Gobi Desert and must build a new plane out of the old one to escape.

I Am Legend (2007)
Virologist Robert Neville lives alone in New York City, which has been decimated by a man-made virus originally created to cure cancer. Immune to the disease, he works to create a remedy while defending himself against the mutated creatures created by the virus.

Red Dawn (1984)
The film is set in an alternate 1980s in which the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its Latin American allies (specifically Cuba and Nicaragua). However, the onset of World War III is merely in the background and not fully elaborated. The story follows a group of American high school students who resist the occupation with guerrilla warfare, calling themselves Wolverines, after their high school mascot.

The Road (2009)
In this challenging film, a father and his young son struggle to survive after an unspecified cataclysm has destroyed civilization, killed almost all plant and animal life, and obscured the sun; only remnants of mankind remain alive, reduced to scavenging or cannibalism. The man and boy travel southward, in the hope that it will be warmer. Along the way, they search for shelter, food, and fuel, and avoid bands of cannibals while trying to maintain their own sense of humanity.

Testament (1983)
The film tells the story of how one small suburban town near the San Francisco Bay Area slowly falls apart after a nuclear war destroys outside civilization. (Note: no trailer was available, so a clip from the film is presented below.)

Threads (1984)
The story centers on two families, the Kemps and the Becketts, as an international crisis between the United States and the Soviet Union erupts and escalates. As open warfare between NATO and the USSR-led Warsaw Pact begins, the harrowing details of the characters' struggle to survive the attacks is dramatically depicted. The balance of the film details the fate of each family as the characters face the medical, economic, social, and environmental consequences of a nuclear war. (Note: no trailer was available, so a clip from the film is presented below.)

Now that you've seen this list, what are your favorite movies or TV shows with self-reliance or survival themes? Please share them below!

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