Its hard to convince people to watch an environmental documentary. And I get why. A lot of them are pretty depressing. It’s hard to swallow the science that we’re currently destroying the environment as we know it, and that not nearly enough is being done to change that. However, not all environmental documentaries will leave you in a state of helplessness. The documentaries I’ve listed below will restore your faith in the power of the human good, and remind you how even just one person can make a huge difference.
#1 VIRUNGA: “Conservation is War.” I’m putting Virunga at the top of the list because it is one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. It’s visually captivating and thrilling to watch. You could almost put it in the action movie category, but scarier yet, it’s all true. This British documentary directed by Orlando von Einsiedel tells the incredible story of the individuals risking their lives to protect the Virunga National Park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you feel compelled to donate after watching (as we did), here’s where to go: https://www.virunga.org/donate
#2 HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD: “The Revolution Will Not Be Organised.” It’s a bold title that gets your attention. This award winning film tells the story about a small group of activists that set out to stop an atomic bomb and ended up creating a global movement, known today as Greenpeace. If you want a snapshot of the “Five Rules of Engagement,” scroll through their website here, and be inspired to start your own movement.
#3 BLACK FISH: I hope most of you have already seen this, but if not, watch it immediately. I grew up in San Diego, the home of Sea World, and remember running around the splash zone as Shamu came crashing down from his high jump. I had no idea the horror that was going on below the water… Since this chilling documentary came out, exposing the gross mistreatment of Sea World’s killer whales, people everywhere reacted with outrage. Read this Guardian article by filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite on what’s been happening with Sea World since.
#4 NO IMPACT MAN: This is an oldie, but a goodie. A hilarious and inspiring reminder about our carbon footprint that is as much needed now as it was back then. It’s the story of Colin Beavan and his family as they attempt to “go green” for an entire year – that means no TV, no bottled water, no electricity, no processed foods – showing us how it’s possible to live a rich and happy life without all the waste. Up for the challenge?
#5 SEEDS OF TIME: “The story of one man’s mission to solve a global crisis.” ….by creating a seed bank located in the arctic mountains, a place that’s been called “a frozen garden of eden.” Academy Award nominated director, Sandy McLeod, follows agriculture pioneer “Cary Fowler’s global journey to save the eroding foundation of our food supply in a new era of climate change.” Wondering where you’ll be able to watch this? You can easily rent in on Vimeo for just £3.49 through the Seeds of Time Website.