It’s Earth Day. For those not familiar with it by now (where have you been), Earth Day is essentially about reflecting on humanity’s environmental impact on the planet and about promoting support for environmental causes that will make a positive difference to the world. With that in mind, we’ve decided today would be as good a day as any to round up five of the best environmental documentaries.
Give them a watch, and get inspired.
From Damon Gameau and Madman Films, this 2019 release takes an aspirational journey into the future. It considers what the world could look like if we fully embraced the best environmental practices of the here and now. Its message is a hope-filled one, giving viewers something to believe in and aim for.
In the words of David Graeber (the following quote opened up Adam Curtis’s excellent ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ documentary series on individualism): “The ultimate hidden truth of the world is that it is something we make and could just as easily make differently.”
You’ll have seen this one doing the rounds on social media recently. It’s a 2021 Netflix release that deep dives on the global fishing industry, and which challenges notions of sustainable fishing. It highlights how human actions can ripple out and cause widespread environmental destruction. Directed by and starring Ali Tabrizi, a British filmmaker, this one should be on your watchlist.
It definitely should have been called ‘Conspirasea’, but we’ll let that slide…
I Am Greta
“We will not stop until we are done,” says Greta Thunberg at the end of the trailer for ‘I Am Greta’ (2020).
In recent times, the teenage activist from Sweden has become something of an environmental icon; leading the “Skolstrejk för klimatet” (school strike for climate), speaking to large crowds about her hopes and fears for the future of the world, and even staring down former US president Donald Trump with a look of complete and utter disdain.
This portrait shows the personal side of a remarkable young woman who’s become the voice of an overlooked generation and an entire, potentially world-saving, movement.
Ice On Fire
Released in 2019, ‘Ice On Fire’ is the second collaboration between actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio and director Leila Conners. It takes a look at the thawing of the Arctic and the devastating consequences this could bring. Not only does it shine a spotlight on the alarming and perilous situation we find ourselves in, it also looks at some carbon capturing innovations and solutions. It’s another grim wake-up call but also a reminder that we, the people, can work together and overcome the crisis we face.
Kiss The Ground
A film about soil and agriculture might not sound like much of an interesting watch but this Woody Harrelson-voiced documentary, released in 2020, won a lot of praise from critics and environmentalists. It carefully crafts an argument against modern farming techniques, and points towards how a different, more ecological, use of our planet’s dirt could benefit not only nature but the farmers as well.