In 2020, the world changed – and will probably never be the same. Humans are facing times of uncertainty, and no one can say what will happen tomorrow. COVID-19 is on everyone’s lips. But it doesn’t mean we should forget about the biggest challenge humanity is facing: to protect the only planet we inhabit.
Climate change and the global loss of biodiversity are just a few of the symptoms. And if life on Earth is in danger, we are actually the ones whose existence is threatened. There are 7.8 billion people on the planet: it took over 200,000 years of human history for the world’s population to reach 1 billion, and only two centuries to reach 7 billion. It means our impact can be disastrous; however, it can also become amazingly great if all humans adapt to a sustainable way of life.
Video content certainly has the power to educate and transform the minds. Now more than ever, we spend a lot of time streaming movies or watching T.V. And we at EcoCamp think that time we spend watching videos can have a good impact if you watch the right content. These are 10 important movies that have the power to make you fall in love with the planet. And everyone knows love means protection.
Home is a French documentary film by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, famous for its aerial photography around the world. The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth, with some spectacular shots of impactful places in all continents. It shows the contract between the wild and the overexploited, such as the intensive agriculture and the growing cities. The film was released simultaneously in 181 countries and is narrated from the perspective of the Earth: both the message and the beauty of the shots make it a must-watch.
2. Call of life (2010)
If the current trend follows its course, scientists warn than more than half of plant and animal species on the planet might become extinct within the next few decades. Call of Life – released in 2010 in the U.S. – is the first feature length movie to fully investigate the scope, threats, causes and impacts of the loss of global biodiversity and the 6th mass extinction event. It features amazing interviews of leading scientists, psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers and indigenous leaders.
3. Before the Flood (2016)
“Climate change is the single greatest threat to a sustainable future but, at the same time, addressing the climate challenge presents a golden opportunity to promote prosperity, security and a brighter future for all”. This quote by Ban Ki-Moon (United Nations Secretary General) is the statement of this 2016 documentary film narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio who traveled around the globe for three years to document the devastating impacts of climate change. It features some great interviews with personalities such as Barack Obama, Piers Sellers, Ban Ki-Moon and Pope Francis.
4. Demain (2015)
Tomorrow (“Demain” in French) is a French documentary film produced by Cyril Dion and actress Melanie Laurent. It has the particularity not to focus on the negative aspects of human impacts on the planet; instead it focuses on good initiatives around the world with concrete examples of solutions to environmental and social challenges of this century. It won the 2016 César Award for best documentary film and we can only recommend it if you’re looking for a bit of optimism.5. Virunga (2014)
The story of Virunga is amongst the most complex stories of conservation on the planet, featuring the endangered mountain gorillas as main characters. Virunga is a British documentary film that focuses on the conservation work of park rangers within the Congo’s Virunga National Park during the rise of the M23 rebellion in 2012 and investigates the activity of the British oil company Soco International within the UNESCO World Heritage site. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature – a well-deserved nomination for an outstanding cinematography and a moving example of how complex conservation can be.
6. Mountain (2017)
Mountain is an Australian documentary film that was premiered at the Sydney Opera House in 2017. It explores high summits around the planet while telling the relationship between humans and mountains across time. An award-winning film, Mountain is narrated by actor Willem Dafoe and features some exceptional footage of some epic landscapes with an incredible soundtrack played by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
7. The End of the Line (2009)
The end of the line is a British documentary film that focuses on the consequences of overfishing. A quarter of the world’s fish stocks is being exploited to extinction and a further half at their maximum capacity. Many well-known species – such as Bluefin tuna and cold – are likely to be extinct by 2048. This documentary had a positive impact on consumers, with the creation of consumer focused websites to allow people to check on the sustainability of popular supermarket fish species. It increased knowledge on where the fish you buy comes from, and therefore put the light on how what we consume impacts the planet.
8. Wall-E (2008)
Wall-E – produced by Pixar Animations Studio for Walt Disney Pictures – enters the category of “conservation movies for the whole family” (such as other movies we recommend like The Lorax and Happy Feet). Wall-E’s main character is a single robot with a single task: to collect and compact garbage to try to restore the planet humanity has destroyed. He’s been alone for centuries until one day, a probe robot name Eve, sent by the last remaining humans, appears and find proof that the planet is habitable again. A beautiful Pixar movie that underlines the message that if we don’t take care of the only planet we inhabit, it won’t be able to support us.9- March of the Penguins (2005)
March of the Penguins follows the yearly journey of the emperor penguins of the most extreme place on Earth: Antarctica. Every Autumn, all the penguins of breeding age leave the ocean (their normal habitat) to walk inland to their ancestral breeding grounds. A story of survival – the story of the chick is without any doubt a great story of sacrifice – that will stay with you forever.
10. Racing Extinction (2015)
Racing Extinction documents the ongoing anthropogenic mass extinction of species and the efforts from scientists, journalists and activists. It deals with several examples of the Anthropocene extinction, in that the spread of Homo Sapiens has caused the greatest mass extinction in the last 66 million years. The documentary features examples of overpopulation, animal agriculture and globalization as leading causes of extinction. Not only interesting: necessary.
Bonus : A Path (Short Movie)
A short film by EcoCamp Patagonia with actor Jasper Pääkkönen (Vikings, BlacKkKlansmann) that will make you want to lose yourself in nature (right now).
Other movies: Mission Blue, Black Fish, Fly Away Home, Fern Gully, An Inconvenient Truth, Earthlings, The Ivory Game, Blood Lions and series “Our Planet” and “Planet Earth” (I & II)