While its not strictly eco-centered, one of my personal favorites is a classic 1982 documentary by Judy Irving on the perils of nuclear energy called “Dark Circle”. The film won the Grand Prize at Sundance and an Emmy. Anyone wary of the ‘official’ reports on Fukushima should definitely watch this film. It shows you, first-hand, how entrenched the nuclear industry is in local, state, and national politics.
Two eco-documetnaries in particular opened my eyes to sustainability and the “green movement”. The first was “Food Inc”, narrated by Michael Pollen, which examines the industrial production of meat, grains, and vegetables, and how they’re being manufactured and marketed through unsustainable practices. The second was “Thirst,” which explores water scarcity and the privatization of water resources by multinational corporations.
Three that I would suggest are: The Cove, Crude, and The 11th Hour. The Cove is about the slaughter of dolphins off of Japan’s coast. Crude documents the after effects of the Texaco oil spill. Lastly, The 11th Hour has a broader focus about how natural disasters are spurred by climate change.
EcoFilms is an independent production house run out of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and produces DVDs on all environmental topics, but primarily focuses on permaculture and aquaponics releases. They cover anything from animal foraging, bird life, to urban projects, and home cheese-making. They have a huge variety and I’d definitely recommend checking out their website.
End:Civ (see link below) is a new documentary based on Derek Jensen’s book of the same title.
Also, it may be slightly off-topic, but Planet Earth episodes are beautifully made. At least David Attenborough (narrator) usually throws in an environmental plea at the end of episodes.
I agree with Jet in that The Cove comes highly recommended–one of my favorite films ever. I’d also suggest King Corn, 180 Degrees South, and Flow.
Who Killed the Electric Car is a great documentary to check out. It talks about how big oil companies influenced the stop to the production of electric cars and how they eventually died out in the late 90s.
Urban Roots captures the urban farming movement in Detroit, Michigan. With the collapse of the US auto industry, this timely documentary follows the residents need to find new hope while building a sustainable future.
Tons, just look on Netflix. When you’re doing this, keep in mind that some of the documentaries, especially some of the water documentaries, can, at times, be rather alarmist. They share a lot of good points, but don’t take those points and dive off the deep end. Listen to them and think critically. With that said, I enjoyed Tapped, Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom, and A Crude Awakening.
Oh, and obviously Planet Earth and Life are wonderful.
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