While most works of cinema are produced for mass entertainment and escapism, a unique minority have had a profound impact on our culture. Whether intentionally or not, some movies have brought social issues to light, changed laws, forwarded ideologies both good and bad, and altered the course of American history through their resounding impact on society.
, a playwright, screenwriter, film producer, and senior lecturer in film and media studies at Yale University, among these seminal films are
. Clips from each film reveal what they can tell us about the social and political climates in which they were created and their significance today.