Six 'Films of Hope' for uncertain times

Sex and the City co-stars Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon chat about their go-to films for inspiration and what the world needs to fight the coronavirus.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Kristin Davis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo with Sister Angelique Namaika, a past Nansen Refugee Award winner.
© UNHCR/Kate Holt

Looking for inspiration as 2020 drags on? Sex and the City co-stars Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon today revealed their list of most inspiring films to watch safely at home as the coronavirus continues to rage – whilst reminding audiences that more needs to be done to help those most vulnerable to the virus.

Davis, a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and Nixon, an advocate for LGBTQ+ and women's rights, sat down for a virtual conversation as part of the ‘Films of Hope’ video series, a collaboration between the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) and UNHCR. The friends chatted about movies, life during the pandemic (including Nixon’s experience with homeschooling), and the need to come together to fight the virus.

“Right now we all need to work together to beat COVID-19,” Davis said. “Every one of us and every action counts.”

Davis and Nixon each named three films, including documentaries, non-English language films and big-budget features. Others in the entertainment industry – including writer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Neil Gaiman, director Guillermo del Toro and actor Gugu Mbatha-Raw ­– will soon follow with videos discussing their own picks. The series will be available on the IMDb What to Watch page.

"It doesn't take a lot of people to create change."

Nixon led her list with Billy Elliott, the 2000 British drama about a boy in the 1980s who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer.

“Such a great character study of a young kid in a working-class mining town and he loves to dance,” Nixon said. “And in that time and in that place this is really shocking. But he will not let his dream die.”

Davis gave a rave review for her top pick, Virunga, an award-winning documentary about people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who banded together to save a national park and its gorillas amidst war, militia attacks and intense pressure from the forces of Big Oil.

“It’s just these few people standing their ground,” said Davis, who visited the DRC in 2015. “It reminds me that it doesn't take a lot of people to create change.”

Six 'Films of Hope'  (IMDb)

All of the films are available to watch on IMDb and include:

  • Billy Elliott, directed by Stephen Daldry
  • Selma, directed by Ava DuVernay
  • Akeelah and the Bee, directed by Doug Atchison
  • Virunga, directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
  • Knock Down the House, directed by Rachel Lears
  • After Spring, directed by Steph Ching and Ellen Martinez

Davis and Nixon urged viewers to donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization, powered by the UN Foundation. Created last March, the fund supports organizations working to detect and prevent the spread of the coronavirus in high-risk populations. UNHCR has received money from the fund to provide medical supplies and more to refugees and internally displaced people in places such as South Sudan, Bangladesh and Syria.

Actor, producer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett introduced the ‘Films of Hope’ series last April as the pandemic sent many parts of the world into lockdown. Since then, the virus has killed more than 1.3 million people, devastated economies and disrupted the education of more than one billion children and young people.

Do you have your own list of inspirational films? If so, please share them by using #FilmsofHope and tagging @IMDb or @Refugees. To donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, please visit