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Ten Oscar-Winning Films That Changed The History of Cinema

The Hollywood Academy has since 1929 honored hundreds of films, directors and actors, with some becoming milestones in cinema history. These ten Oscar-winning films have helped bring about social changes and opened debates.

Gone with the Wind, a drama set in the southern states of the USA, was released in 1939. Today the film is criticized for its whitewashed way of presenting slavery and racial discrimination. Nonetheless, it was a milestone in the history of cinema, as Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American actress to win an Oscar for her performance in the film.

In spite of this, the Oscars continued to be a ceremony mainly designed by and for the white and male elite dominating Hollywood. It wasn’t until 2017 that the Oscars finally broke this glass ceiling with the award-winning “Moonlight” by Barry Jenkins, a story about a gay and black protagonist. This award sent a message of recognizing African-American cinema to Hollywood.

Gender equality in the world of cinema still has a long way to go. It wasn’t until 2010 that Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, with her war drama “Fear Zone”. This award opened the debate about the need for more gender equality in the industry.

Ultimately, the Oscars serve as a reflection of society. As we discussed these ten films, we can only hope more future films will not only entertain, but also contribute to social change.

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