When it comes to learning about anything, there’s no denying that visual aids are of great help. No matter how much you already know, or want to know further, there’s no end to learning. When it comes to sustainability, the topic may have been around for a couple of years, but there’s still a lot that remains to be understood. If you are looking to understand the concept of sustainable development further, and how your lifestyle choices have an impact on the environment, here are some films you can watch on this topic.
1. Out Of Plastic
"Out of Plastic" is a Spanish documentary, directed by Line Hadsbjerg, which delves into the murky depths of plastics in the Mediterranean Sea. The film is set in the Balearic Islands and provides an opportunity to focus on the pervasiveness of plastic in our lives and in our surroundings. The film also includes sweeping landscapes and mysterious ocean depths—the point of encounter between man and nature—and aims to show how our excessive use of single-use plastic has tipped the scales to the detriment of nature and, eventually, ourselves.
2. Forget Shorter Showers
This short film by Jordan Brown and Derrick Jensen, based on an Orion Magazine essay of the same name, flips the notion that lifestyle improvements like shorter showers and energy-efficient bulbs will help combat climate change. Instead, the film suggests that a broader shift brought on by changes in economic policy is what the world really needs.
3. Our Planet
This beautifully shot film is narrated by David Attenborough, a veteran of nature documentaries. It focuses on how climate change affects all life. Despite showcasing the grim reality, there is plenty of beautiful nature imagery showing the wonders of our world to provide some solace and to highlight the urgent need for sustainability.
4. Planet Of The Humans
Directed by Jeff Gibbs, Planet of the Humans is a documentary, which depicts the startling reality that we are losing the fight to halt climate change on the planet. This, the film shows, is because of following leaders who have led people down the wrong path, selling out the green movement to powerful interests and corporate America. This film serves as a wake-up call to the fact that we are afraid to face: the environmental movement's response to a human-caused extinction event is to lobby for techno-fixes and temporary band-aids, which may not be enough.
5. The True Cost
In this ground-breaking documentary directed by Andrew Morgan, a filmmaker focusing on social change stories, the next generation of fashion designers express their concerns about the massive waste in the industry.
6. David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet
David Attenborough, the legendary naturalist, has enjoyed an exceptional life in his 90+ years on this earth. He shares his tale of meeting extraordinary creatures while also witnessing the rapid degradation of their ecosystems in one of the most recent and influential documentaries on climate change. This film serves as a stark warning that unless we make drastic changes soon, we will face the next great extinction event.
7. The Last Green Thread
Directed by Danny Schmidt, this documentary follows three friends as they set out on a quest to survey a fragile desert corridor until it vanishes forever on a narrow path through Florida's Everglades Headwaters. Their expedition records the resilience and connectedness of an ecosystem in rapid transition against a backdrop of massive development and population growth.
8. The River Is Me
The possession of the Whanganui River in New Zealand has been a source of contention for many years between the New Zealand government and the Maori people, who regard the river as sacred. It now, on the other hand, owns itself. The river has been given legal personhood, with the same rights and obligations as you and me, in what is thought to be a first. This film has been directed by David Freid, and shows an interesting take on what happens when nature takes ownership.
9. Making The Connection
This documentary, directed by Ella Todd, aims to make the viewer understand the consequences of their lifestyle choices. It shows how your dietary habits, fitness, global food security, farming, animals, ethics, and the environment are all inter-linked.
10. Chasing Coral
Coral reefs are able to live for thousands of years if the conditions are correct. A group of scientists, photographers, and divers set out to document the phenomenon of coral bleaching, which is decimating coral reefs at an alarming pace in this award-winning climate change documentary by Jeff Orlowski. Chasing Coral will make you realise how serious this problem is and how important coral reefs are to both humans and the environment.