Arts & Events

Five films you didn’t know were on Kanopy

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

In the age of online streaming, you’d think finding a flick for movie night would be a breeze. But more often than not we find ourselves scrolling through the options on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime for what feels like an eternity.

If only there were a free streaming service with vetted, critically acclaimed films that could end this torturous scrolling! And a benevolent hero who could, with their cinematic expertise, create a convenient short list of options! Well, I have some good news for you. Kanopy is that streaming service, I am that hero and this is that list.

If you’ve ever taken a film class, or been asked to watch an obscure documentary, you might already be familiar with Kanopy. It’s an online streaming service made available to Puget Sound students through Collins Library, and it specializes in critically acclaimed cinema of all kinds, from classic to contemporary and indie art-house to blockbuster hit.

One could easily get lost in an endless loop of browsing through Kanopy’s extensive collection, but lucky for you, we at The Trail care about your media viewing experience (and more importantly, your sanity!) so we’ve collected a list of five fantastic films to get you started!


  1. “The Young Karl Marx” directed by Raoul Peck

Everybody has that edgy neo-Marxist friend with a hammer and sickle sticker on their nalgene, right? You know, the one who rolls their own cigarettes because they don’t like to “participate in the economy.” Well, this is just the flick for them!

Released in 2017, this film relays the fascinating origin story of one of the fathers of communism. But it’s more than just a stuffy biopic. The New York Times called the film “a buddy movie about the founders of communism,” and as “engagingly free-spirited” as it is “intellectually serious.”


  1. “The Love Witch” directed by Anna Biller

If you’re in the mood for something equally bizarre but not quite as erudite, try out the “The Love Witch.” A modern feminist horror story, this occult favorite follows modern-day witch Elaine (Samantha Robinson) who uses magic to make men to fall in love with her.

A revisionist twist on the classic technicolor 1960s horror genre, “The Love Witch” delights in spectacle and camp, creating the perfect film to watch during a girl’s night in, or after you finally delete the number of that grungy softboy you’ve been hooking up with for the past month!


  1. “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” directed by Desiree Akhavan

In the mood for something a little less heteronormative and a little more life-affirming? Then check out the film based off of the beloved Emily M. Danforth novel of the same name. The story follows the titular character (Chloe Grace Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back-seat of a car on prom night.

With its acerbic humor, beautiful cinematography and generous spirit, this film is sure to give your heart strings a firm tug! Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” is a LGBTQ classic for generations to come.

  1. “Kedi,” directed by Ceyda Torun

Now here’s a film that’s sure to make your insides feel as warm and fuzzy as a hundred kittens! Winner of Best First Documentary and nominated for Best Documentary at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, “Kedi” tells the story of the thousands of cats that roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich.

Sweet, loving and filled with heart, “Kedi” is a documentary about finding beauty and companionship in unexpected places. With a run time of only 79 minutes, this is the perfect short flick to lift your spirits in these dark and troubling times.


  1. “The Young Girls of Rochefort” directed by Jacques Demy

Last, but certainly not least, we have both a foreign film and a selection from the criterion collection. But don’t worry, though this film will definitely give you some clout with cinephiles and lovers of French films, it’s not your stereotypical drab and depressing foreign film.

“The Young Girls of Rochefort” is a vibrant musical comedy about missed connections and second chances. Set in 1960s France, the film follows twins sisters Delphine and Solange (played by real-life sisters Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac). The two long for big-city life and when a fair comes through their quiet port town, they seize the opportunity to leave their drab country home for something more.