Director: Lu Chuan, 2004


“Mountain Patrol” is a sensational film inspired by a documentary entitled ‘Balance’. This moving film depicts the powerful story of a half-Tibetan journalist from Beijing. He travels across the outskirts of Kelexili with a small group of Tibetan mountain patrols. Their mission is to track poacher groups and stop the illegal slaughtering of
endangered Tibetan antelopes.

This group of volunteers has to confront the poachers while at the same risk themselves in a land of merciless winds, freezing water, sizzling plains, and treacherously snow-covered mountains.

This movie shows the spirit of ordinary people who volunteer as antelope protectors without expecting anything in return. What they want to do is to maintain the existence of the antelopes even though it is such a risky thing
to do. The movies can be a great reminder for us to always keep in mind that not only human beings need help and protection, but also wildlife, especially the endangerd ones, and other animals.

Sadly, only a few people realize that wildlife can be just as valuable as human beings so that they deserve protection. The kind of heroic action portrayed in the movie indicates that the mountain patrol group is not merely protecting Tibetan antelopes but is helping all kinds of endangered animals from immorally selfish hunters throughout the world.

Director: Mimi Leder, 2000


How to make a world better than today? There could be many different answers. An 11-year-old schoolboy in Las Vegas, Nevada named Trevor McKinney has got an assignment from his social studies teacher Eugene Sumonet to make a plan and bring into action something that can make the world better. Trevor’s plan is just simple and fresh, based on the networking of goodness. He calls the plan “Pay It Forward”. His efforts result in a change not only in his own life, but also those of his alcoholic mother, his emotionally and physically scarred teacher and many other people.

This novel-adapted movie serves all the big ideas in a package that reflects the reality in our life. It is an
advantage that the movie is so simple, emotional, and easy to watch without forgetting the content.

If you are looking for an easy and inspired movie then Pay It Forward should be in your list. For your information, there are many organizations/movements established and inspired by this movie and of course bring the same ideas. So, who wants to be the first chain?

Director: Alison Thomson, 2007

Reviewed by GRACE BANGOY

This highly recommended movie is about a group of three independent volunteers who set up a first-aid station after a disastrous tsunami in Sri Lanka and quickly find themselves in charge of a refugee camp caring for over three thousand people. What was originally a two-week journey spirals into a year-long odyssey of hope, heartbreak and setbacks as the villagers slowly begin to rise up against the volunteers when the world’s donated tsunami money never materializes.

This film is an eye opener to those who are curious about how volunteers work. Sometimes, if not most of the time, people volunteer because they can get to travel or it will be good in their resume, but it should be more than that and such things are not supposed to be on the agenda. The motive behind a genuine volunteer is to help, with no hesitation and with no hidden agenda. In a world of increasing natural and man-made disasters, more and more people are needed to get out there and do their part.

Director: Kenta Fukusaku, 2011


The story is about four Tokyo university students who raised money to construct a school in Cambodia. The fact that this film is based on a real life account gives it persuasiveness and revives our hope in humanity.

This true story vividly depicts an ordinary university student who gains better understanding about the meaning of life, his own identity, and the society around him by volunteering to build an elementary school in Cambodia.

Kota, a medical student, realizes that there is something more to life than his comfortable daily existence. After witnessing a much harsher reality than they have ever imagined: a village strewn with land mines, a hospital for patients suffering from AIDS, a museum dedicated to the victims of Khmer Rouge, and the rundown state of the existing village school and even though their spirit sinks, they all gain a philanthropic awakening.

Their lives eventually change when they reach out to help those in need. Building a school might be tough work which not every one of us can manage to do. However, in order to change the world, you don’t need to start with lofty ideas.
The easiest thing we can do is to have sympathy and understanding towards our fellow human beings.

Your seemingly small actions of kindness may seem like no more than a drop of water, but when drops of water get together, they can form a vast ocean.