Bowling for Columbine (2002)
In Bowling for Columbine, director Michael Moore brought attention to gun violence statistics in the United States. The film pressured Kmart, which sold ammunition used in the 1999 Columbine school shooting, and, ultimately, Kmart executives decided to phase out ammunition sales at all locations.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
Loving v. Virginia legalized interracial marriage months before the film’s release. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner featured the first interracial kiss in a major picture. The film was groundbreaking for the Civil Rights Era, addressing what was then a stigma around interracial relationships. There is debate, however, about whether the film encouraged or merely reflected growing acceptance for interracial relationships.
The Smithsonian Magazine notes that the Wildlife Society Bulletin describes Disney’s Bambi as “the most effective piece of anti-hunting propaganda ever produced.” The film has been widely linked to a decrease in hunting and the “Bambi Effect” is considered so effective that a required monthly viewing of the film was added to a poacher’s prison sentence in 2018.