A Film Feels Hopeful Playlist

Art Terry & Helena Smith //

We asked artists Art Terry and Helena Smith to curate a playlist for us, capturing a sense of hope. Terry and Smith created Self Isolation Songbook which is screening as part of Doc'n Roll's Summer of Hope programme at We Out Here Festival on 20 August 2021, part of Film Feels Hopeful.

This Film Feels Hopeful playlist is suitably cinematic. Some of the tunes come from film soundtracks or music documentaries, some have inspired short films and cinematic collaborations, and some sing of the joys of cinema itself. Buoyant ‘Prince Charles’ by Renu will have you heading for the nearest movie theatre, as will alternative-life-affirming ‘Merci Beaucoup M. Godard’ by Stew, from his stage musical Passing Strange which was filmed by Spike Lee. 

These songs go beyond feelgood to address and inspire optimism in hard times. Because sometimes hope – that intangible rise in your spirits – can come at the lowest point to lift you up. Staff Benda Bilili’s joyous ‘Tonkara’ comes from the streets of Kinshasa in the Congo, the tonkara of the title being the cardboard that street homeless sleep on. And broken folk duo the Lunatraktors sing of the ‘Turn of the Plough,’ which will in time turn up the bones of soldiers heading off to war. But the refrain rings out: ‘Oh, cheer up lads, We’re all on the same side, We’ll all roll home again, In the turn, The turn of the tide.’

We hope some tides turn positively for you as you listen to these songs.


Bill Lee – Brooklyn Bridge

Art Terry – Make It

Marianne Dissard – A Tramp Shining



Renu – Prince Charles

Last but not least, check out the We Out Here Festival 2021 playlist, to get to know the wonderful artists who will be performing there: