15 Inspiring Movies Based on True Stories - Daily Inspired Life

15 Inspiring Movies Based on True Stories


Inspiring Movies Based On True Stories


Noble is the true story of the fearless Irish heroine, Christina Noble, who overcomes the harsh difficulties of her childhood to realize her destiny as a champion of the street children of Saigon, Vietnam.   

An extra-ordinary story of self-sacrifice and determination.  Here are just a few important lessons I noticed in the story of Christina Noble ...

  • If you allow them to, your struggles gift you with special skills and equip you with unique knowledge, that when willingly shared,  become the guiding light to help others navigate the difficulties that you have successfully survived.  

  • If you are privileged to live today, it's likely your ancestors have overcome incredible odds, successfully navigating troubled times in order for you to be born. You are blessed with amazing genes  - make the most of it!

  • In the absence of prestige and money;  faith, boldness, tenacity and persistence will be the force to bring your dreams to fruition.

  • If you aren't called to devote your life as a humanitarian, but you have been born privileged enough to provide aid to one who is, then do so, help where you can. 

Walk. Ride. Rodeo. In the wake of an accident that leaves her paralyzed, a champion rodeo rider vows to get back on her horse and compete again.  Based on a true story.

While this film wouldn't make my top ten list, I did find the movie inspiring. This story would be especially inspirational for someone starting over after sustaining incredible loss. Here are a few of my take-aways ...

  • We can't possibly understand the hardship of another person.  Intense emotions rising out of drastic change and deep loss may cause someone to lash out and reject our offers of help.  It's during these times our loving support is needed the most.  

  • Sharing our own story with others, can help someone else facing hardship draw courage and rise up in hope for a better future.

  • Just one word of encouragement can change the direction of someone's life.  Wherever possible offer a word of kindness to others.  

  • The point we face our fears, is the point where freedom begins.

  • The beautiful partnership between human and horse - how animals can lead the way to  healing.

  • Your attitude can make the difference between success and defeat - we don't get to control everything in life, but we can can control the way we look at things.

I Am Woman tells the inspiring story of  Helen Reddy, the 1970s musician and feminist activist.

Helen Reddy arrives in New York all the way from Australia, with only her three-year-old daughter, $230 in her pocket and her dream to be a singer.

The song,  "I Am Woman" written by Helen becomes the anthem for the feminist movement and galvanises a generation of women to fight for change.

Here's some of what you learn from this film ...

  • See just how hard women have had to fight for their rights.  Develop a richer appreciation for the freedoms we now enjoy - freedoms that have been won by earlier generations. 

  • Be inspired by Helen's fearless ambition and passion. Be moved by her ability to smash through patriarchal norms to become an international singing superstar.

  • This movie will have you questioning what real success looks like and the price some people pay to achieve what they consider success.

  • When it comes to reaching your dreams, it's important to create connections and nurture relationships that will support your endeavors.

  • Keep asking, never give up.  Keep knocking on doors.  Never give up.  

  • Be inspired by the powerful words of the anthem song "I Am Woman".  


The First Grader is based on the true story of Kimani Maruge, a Kenyan farmer who enrolled in school for the first time at the age of 84.  

Here are my take-aways from this movie - would love to hear yours.

  • If we are privileged to enjoy freedom without fight, then remember, our freedom has likely come at a dear price -  paid for by someone else.  Show honour and respect for the generations who have gone before, for the ones who have lost and sacrificed so much for our freedom.  

  • Open our eyes to the oppression of our fellow human beings.  The suffering of our black brothers and sisters is NOT history to be left in the past.    Let's open our hearts and listen.  Build empathy, understanding and appreciation for what others have been through and continue to go through.  Show respect for the courage they have shown to endure what they have.  Be an active part of the change.

  • If you act against popular opinion or what is considered "normal" in your society or culture, there will be people, sometimes those closest to us, that will try and keep you from moving forward beyond the boundaries they have set for themselves.  If that happens, hold your head up, jump over the boundary and keep going.  Let them stay where they are.  

  • If we are called to champion a worthy cause, we must brace ourselves for opposition.   Continue forward, persistent, never giving up.  If we observe another championing an unpopular but worthy cause, be brave to stand beside them in support.  They need you.  
  • Never take your education for granted.  To read and write is a privilege not all have enjoyed.  

  • Many voices,  though small, when united must be heard.   These small voices, joined together, will grow so loud the whole world will hear.  

  • We must be brave to bare our scars and share our stories - in this way we learn to be better.   We learn from each other. 

There are many other lessons I received from this movie.   What are some you can share?  Please comment in the comment box below ... 


What would you do if obedience to authority conflicted with your own conscience and personal values?

The Experimenter is a movie based on the famous  'Obedience Experiment' conducted by Stanley Milgram.

Volunteers involved in the experiment THINK they're delivering electric shocks to strangers as part of a study in learning.  Ignoring pleas for mercy, most subjects don't stop delivering the shocks because they've been told to go on by an authority figure.

Although I wouldn't class this movie as  "inspirational" I do believe it is an important movie to drive 'awakening' and to cause us to reflect and think upon our own behaviours.   

Here are my take-aways:  

  • 74% of the volunteers said they learned something of personal importance about themselves and about the condition that shapes human action.   The movie had me asking the question what would I do?

  • A stressful situation can overwhelm your personal power.   Even when feeling under pressure, stop, think, question.

  • There may be times when an authority figure requires you to do something against your conscience or personal values - whether that be a person or an organization.  Do not give up your freedom to choose what is right in your heart.  

  • Extending empathy and compassion toward our fellow human beings is the key to building a better world based on love rather than a world filled with pain and hatred.  We must choose to show love and compassion above all else.  The change starts with us.  


Once Chance is a romantic comedy based on the true story of Paul Potts, the unlikely opera singer who goes on to win Britain's Got Talent.

This movie is perfect for anyone trying to attain an 'impossible dream'.   It's also a fun watch full of wonderful life lessons.      Here's just a few of my take-aways:

  • Do what you can to keep your sense of humor in the face of hardship and disappointment.

  • If you absolutely love doing something, if it brings you joy, then that endeavor is worthy of pursuit - simply because you find delight in doing so.

  • You can't always count on family to be supportive of your dreams and ideas.  You may discover they become your "threshold guardians", who rather than cheer you on, will try and keep you right where you are.  Learn to block out the negative voices and carry on.

  • Look out for your 'cheer team'.  Keep them close - they will be there to cheer you through the times you feel like giving up.




Lion tells the true story of a boy lost in Calcutta at just 5 years old.  Separated from  his family he is adopted by a couple and sent to Australia.    

After 25 years his yearning to re-connect with his heritage will not be quietened.   He embarks on an impossible journey to find his lost family in India... 

One of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. 

  • Be moved by the stunning cinematography and acting that will give you insight into the world of children living on the streets in India.
  • Gain an understanding of what it's like to grow-up in a country, not of your birthplace - both the associated challenges and the privileges.

  • You'll be touched by the devotion of the couple and other people who make great effort and sacrifice to show love to others.

  •  Be taken on an epic journey of re-discovery.  One that will make you laugh, cry and be filled with determination to never give up seeking what you hold dear in your heart.  


You'll love watching Ali's Wedding.    After telling a white lie that spins out of control, the son of an Iraqi-born cleric in Melbourne becomes torn between family duty and his own heart.

I laughed throughout this moving while being touched by the serious issues it presents.  Here's just a few  'gems' you'll get from watching this movie.    I'm sure you'll find more: 

  • Ali's ability to find and share humour in his troubled times is heart-touching. Laughter is a great medicine and you'll be uplifted by the laughs throughout the movie.   
  • The overall message of the movie is beautiful.  A message of self-acceptance, acceptance of others, forgiveness and letting go of judgement.  

  • You'll get a peak into the challenges faced by immigrant families, who flee their own countries to start over.   

  • You'll gain a greater understanding of  issues faced by many young Muslim people today.   The tearing between family duty and acting on their individual desire to live a life of their choice.  



A brilliant doctor from the Congo takes a job in a rural French village, where he and his family work to win over the less-than-welcoming locals.  The African Doctor is a French comedy-drama film based on the life of Seyolo Zantoko, the father of the musician Kamini. 

I laughed and learned so much from this movie. It was not only highly entertaining but highlighted important life lessons ... 

  • I was inspired by the sacrifice parents will make to ensure their children are given the best opportunity in life. 
  • I saw just how deep the conditioning and prejudice goes toward black people.  What they have endured is remarkable.   I drew hope from the story, that all black people will be treated with equality, respect and honour as they should be.  

  • The movie teaches us the power of persistence and not giving up on our dreams...  as well as the importance of support and community to bring in needed change.  

We can all be part of the change.  



Inspired by a true story, an attorney uncovers a dark secret connecting a growing number of unexplained deaths to one of the worlds largest corporations.   If you've ever used a Teflon covered pan you'll want to watch this movie.  

I found this movie inspiring because ... 

  • There are everyday people in this world willing to stand-up for the "little people" despite huge opposition and great risk to themselves.

  • The movie teaches us the power of persistence, not giving up.  For the right cause, we continue...  holding on to hope.

  • Through personal narratives and real life stories the truth can be told.  The story of the people must be heard.  The fact that this movie was created, uncovering corruption within a massive corporation gives me hope.   My question is why hasn't more people seen this movie? 


 A Street Cat Named Bob is the uplifting true story of an unlikely friendship between a recovering drug addict on the streets of Covent Garden and the ginger cat who adopts him and helps him heal his life.

You'll love this movie because ... 

  • The movie takes us into the life of a drug addict and what it really takes to recover (You'll have more empathy, compassion and understanding after watching this film)

  • Shows the real life affects of drug addiction ... I hope that one young person watching this film will be guided away from taking drugs and having to face the same challenges James Bowen did.

  • It shows us that no matter how bleak a situation is, there is always a way through - sometimes we just need a little help and guidance out.   

  • The movie shows animals can be great healers and comforters during times of struggle.  

  • Everyone needs to be a given a go, given the opportunity to rise up above their circumstances.  We do our part by showing love, empathy and compassion to others.

  • The movie is real demonstration of the power of sharing your story. 


Harriet is an inspiring true story based on the life and works of  an exceptional black woman, Harriet Tubman.   

Harriet Tubman was the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, leading over 70 enslaved people to freedom.  During the Civil War, Harriet became a spy for the Union Army.  She led 150 black soldiers in the Combabee River Raid, free over 750 enslaved people.  Harriet remains one of the few women in U.S. history to lead an armed expedition.

She dedicated her life to helping freed slaves, the elderly and Women’s Suffrage.  

Here's what you'll learn from watching this movie ... 

  • There is great cause for the The Black Lives Matter movement.  The issue of equality has been fought for centuries and we all play a part.   Learning the true stories of black lives helps us open our minds and hearts to the experience of others, instead of denying an issue that has been ignored for too long.

  • Women are powerful leaders, strong and compassionate. The world needs more feminine leadership.  

  • Throughout history, there have always been people who will stand up to make a change, to make a difference.  Some willing to risk their lives on behalf of others.

  • Never take your freedom for granted.  Many have fought for their freedom.  Many have lost their lives.  


Freedom Writers is based on the book 'The Freedom Writers Diary' .  The book was created by teacher Erin Gruwell and her teenage students who compiled real diary entries about growing up in Long Beach, California. 

Here's what you'll learn from watching this movie ... 

  • One of the most powerful of human needs is to be seen and heard.    When we truly see another person, when we listen to their story without judgement,  we offer a  gift to that person - we tell them they are valued, that their life matters.  

  • The person we see on the outside does not always reflect their true heart.  We need to grow in  empathy, love and consideration of what others are experiencing in their lives.

  • Shows the real stories of teenagers who were born into a life filled with the struggle to survive.  

  • The sharing of stories is a powerful way to build understanding and empathy across humans of different race, generations and background.

  • There is always hope.  No matter what is going on in our world, there is always hope for a better future.   Though people may put us down, there are always those that are there to raise us up and support us through struggle. 


This movie is inspired by the true story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.   In a male dominated institution, Ruth earns her Harvard law degree, 1st in her class.

Throughout her career she faces discrimination based on her gender enduring comments like . "Women are too emotional to be lawyers."   "You'll be too busy at bake sales to be effective."   "Sorry, our wives will get jealous if we hire you."

Ruth brings a groundbreaking case to the U.S. court of appeals that overturns a century of gender discrimination.  She now serves as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

This story is a powerful reminder of how far we've come.  Times have been changing slowly ... but they are changing.  

In addition to an informative and entertaining lesson about gender discrimination you'll also learn much about reaching goals and going for your dreams.    Here's some of my own take-aways ... 

  • Just because existing authorities tell you something is impossible, doesn't make it so. 
  • If you want to affect change in society, you'll need to step out front and be willing to get uncomfortable.  
  • If we choose to work hard to achieve our goals, take time to nurture important relationships and seek support from those you love and trust.
  • Never take the rights I already have as a woman for granted.  These rights have been fought for over one hundred years.   Keep seeking equality for all human beings.  
  • Never give up on an important dream.   What you do can affect thousands.  

I would love to know your thoughts on the movie.   



the boy who harnessed the wind

Image:  Netflix

Brilliant movie, based on a true story  about a 13 year old boy, William Kamkwamba from Malawi.  William, with the aid of a science book he discovers in the school library,  finds a way to save his entire village from perishing by famine.   

This is a remarkable story that will touch your heart and teach you many lessons along the way.

  • The power of finding a way, when it appears there is no way
  • Learning to seek and ask for help when we need it
  • Accepting that when you set out to achieve something remarkable,  you'll find supporters along the way, while others may mock and ridicule
  • The innocent wisdom and tenacity found in youth - just because someone is young we shouldn't overlook their opinions and ideas
  • Sometimes it only takes one person to believe for an entire population to benefit.  Shine your light and it will ripple out. 

I could keep sharing  more.   I haven't yet mentioned the beauty of the cinematography and the lessons shared from another culture in a world different to mine.   


Share the Inspiration
  • […] "Every great dream begins with a dreamer.  Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”~ Harriet Tubman […]

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    karletta marie - daily inspired life

    Hi,  I'm karletta marie...

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    karletta marie - daily inspired life

    Hi, I'm karletta marie.

    JOIN and get your free digital magazine with inspiring stories straight to your inbox PLUS tools to start creating your beautiful life.