Documentary films about ecology and environmental issues will inform you of ways in which you can help to preserve--and, in some cases, restore--Mother Earth's environment so it can sustain future generations of our species. Let these films inspire your resolutions to become an environmental activist--by altering your personal behavior or setting out to change public policy, or both.
Earth Day is the annual event staged to raise environmental awareness and boost efforts to establish policies and practices to sustain human life on Earth. Earth Days chronicles the environmental movement's advances during the 1960s and 70s, when the US nearly set up an eco-friendly, sustainable energy program. Then what happened?
With extraordinary clarity and definition, Disneynature: Wings of Life
puts us right inside the flower with the bee, making us keenly aware of the miraculous work these creatures, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators do for nature -- and, of course, for us.
Jeff Orlowski's documentary follows National Geograhic photographer James Balog and his team, as they prove the extent of glacial retreat due to global warming.
Sony Pictures Classics
Who Killed the Electric Car? chronicles GM's conspiracy to prevent proliferation of automobiles that ran quietly, efficiently and pollution-free on electricity.
Filmmaker Chris Paine became an expert on and advocate for non-polluting electric vehicles when he made his 2006 documentary, Who Killed The Electric Car?
In that film he showed how GM built prototype EV-1 electric cars, distributed it them drivers who absolutely adored them, and then recalled and destroyed them. In this sequel, he shows how electric cars are being reintroduced.
The 11th Hour (2007)
Warner Independent Features
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio produced and anchors this impressive documentary in which expert commentators like Stephen Hawking, James Woolsey and others explain how hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters are the result of negative climate and environmental changes that are spiraling out of control. A recent release, the film is still playing theatrically and is not yet available on DVD.
An Inconvenient Truth presents a convincingly rational approach to explaining the dangers of global warming. With the help of animator Matt Groening (of The Simpsons fame) and state-of-the-art flat screen monitors, the film lays out Al Gore's well-documented concerns that we are in the throes of a climate crisis that threatens life on Earth as we know it.
Arctic Tale, an animal-centric documentary, uses unadulterated authentic footage to capture close up impressions of of a walrus pup and polar bear cub. With these lovable tykes leading the way, the film swims directly and deeply into disturbing environmental issues like global warming and pollution and, most especially, the shrinking arctic ice.
Filmmaker Louis Psihoyos follows animal rights activist Richard O'Barry in this shocker of a documentary that effectively exposes the annual secret slaughter of thousands of dolphins by a greedy community of Japanese fishermen, supported by a complicit Japanese government and international whaling commission.
First Run Features
Filmmaker Joe Berlinger exposes the Texaco/Chevron toxic waste contamination of thousands of square miles of the Ecuadorian Amazon and rain forest, and chronicles the efforts of local tribes and international conservation and human rights organizations to get remediation.