Depends on your definition of “best.” If you mean most effective, the answer has to be Avatar. True, its environmental message is subtle, covered by a lot of pure entertainment, and probably lost on a lot of people, but the sheer volume of people that it reached is overwhelming. It is now the biggest-grossing movie of all time both in the US and worldwide (not adjusted for inflation). What’s more, it reached a lot of young people, who may have never been exposed before to the idea that the Earth (or its alien substitute in the movie) is sacred and needs to be protected. Finally, it provides a launching-off point for future real-world discussions, like, “Remember how the government would do anything for ‘unobtanium’ in the movie? Is that really how our government acts toward oil?”
I have to disagree. I think the environmental message was secondary or tertiary to the spectacle that defines Avatar. James Cameroon has no history of making deep, meaningful, metaphoric movies. His movies are defined by spectacle, vastness, and science fiction, and visual impact.
I think one of the better environmental movies of 2009 was WALL-E. It’s message was clear, it was not preachy, and it grabbed a generation of people that would not otherwise pay attention to the news–teenages and younger. It was simple, powerful, and a beautifully told story.
I loved “Who Killed the Electric Car?” I had no idea electric cars were available a long time ago. I grew up in California and i had no idea what was done. Another good one is Blue Planet: Seas of Life. There is a great list of great environmental documentaries at the link below.
I’m not sure when it was created, but “The Story of Stuff” is the best video I’ve seen in a while. It’s short, only about 20 minutes, so you can watch it just about any time. It details the process the average product goes through before being reaching consumers and serves as a great tool to bring about awareness. I highly recommend it.
I would have to say AVATAR. I think this for many reasons
1.) It referenced past and present problems society has faced
2.) It was mainstream so a lot of people were effected by it
3.) the story was entertaining. It’s always easier to teach people things when it is in the form of entertainment.
4.) it got the world talking! The more people talk and think, the better it is for solutions!
I would have to disagree with the Avatar argument as well. Subtle it was not, more like a quick face smack of colonialism that I doubt had fans running to their nearest plant sanctuary.
One ‘green’ video series that I think is incredibly orginal and entertaining is Isabella Rossellini’s “Green Porno” series on the Sundance channel. While a funny and perhaps childish take on the mating habits of animals, this series is actually scientifically sound.
It is a good blend of information and by the time you are done laughing at what you just watched, you realize you really did learn something.
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