Denzel Washington – Hollywood’s Agent of Social Change

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Denzel Washington is with out a doubt one of the most popular and successful stars in Hollywood. But apart from his strikingly good looks, charisma and unique inflections, he symbolizes something much more serious in meaning and in depth; Change.

A careful analysis of some of his movies will reveal that both the characters that he plays and the general underlying themes of the stories point to some deep problems in the society and maybe, just maybe, some possible solutions. But at least they draw your attention to these problems. Let us take a peek at some of them:


Denzel plays the real Steven Biko, a revolutionary and charismatic South African activist, who was killed by the Apartheid regime in questionable circumstances. It is a story that still stirs up emotions among black South Africans till this very day. You get to know first hand the need for freedom and you will want to effect a positive change in society just by watching this movie. Of course you also get to know that this road is fraught with danger.


In this old movie, Denzel plays the role of a black British man who joins her majesty’s army in order to escape the poverty of inner London. Despite fighting for his adopted country and in the process becoming a war hero, he returns several years later to London to find that the same problems still persist, and now he is no longer wanted: not by his community, not by his girlfriend, and certainly not by the country that he shed his blood for.

The problems that he faces in this film are the same problems faced by African-American war veterans, by black British war veterans and many other such war veterans of his type all over the world. And it is a problem they will continue to face as long as wars continue to be fought.

write by Alva

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