Nowadays it seems a new environmental documentary is released every week, what with the success of the genre hitting the mainstream due to Michael Moore’s efforts and Al Gore’s An Inconvenient truth. It now seems sensible for anyone who believes in a partially issue to grab film equipment and present the facts to hopefully bring chance in political, social and environmental attitudes. this includes
The Age Of Stupid
The 11th Hour
All very hard hitting and popular within environmental and sustainable circles.
But the films that really matter, the films that reach a larger audience and make more money then documentaries. Are films with plots, characters, romance and action. Therefore here follows a list of films that have a blatant or hidden environmental message, that you can sneakily shows those people who don’t really care just in case it changes they perception of climate change.
The Day After Tomorrow
Concept of this film is that the North Atlantic Drift that predominantly keeps the UK warm with warm Caribbean water (cannot be bothered to go into the science for why) fails and within a day the whole of America and London turns to snow and ice. Why did it fail? – because of climate change. Is it any good? well its a nice adventure film, however if you try and explain the science behind it, you will be meet by blank faces who are thinking about the CGI wolves.
The film with the worst budget-to-open weekend ratio ever and to be fair, it is a little bit pants. The world is a world of water, Kevin Costner has webbed feet and Dennis Hooper plays a baddie. (again) They saviour is a little girl that has a map of land tattooed on her back. At one point webbed Costner takes a lady-friend to the bottom of the ocean to show her – you can guess it – a modern 1990’s city submerged with cars and fire hydrants. by the end they find land, which one must presume is the top of Everest looking all green and with horses on it.
Mel Gibson is mad, he travels around helping people, but you know he is mad – he has hardly any petrol damn it! Its some year in the future, there is no oil, solar power cars haven’t even been thought of as a travel option in the Aussie outback – not even bicycles??? but the point is there, one day we will run out of oil and we will all be mad
Dances With Wolves
This film is a bit more abstract – so a guy (Kevin Costner again) from the more developed world and gets to know the local natives, until he is inducted as one of them. Then his old friends turn up destroy there homes, decimate their livelihoods and general take over. Yay colonialism. Yay destruction of the Prairielands.
FernGully: The Last Rainforest
So there is this human lumberjack guy, who finds himself magically transformed into a forest spirit, he then spends some time with the animals getting to know them, until one day the humans descend to cut down more rainforest, cue a battle to save the last rainforest.
A kids film newly released at the cinema, a building developer, moves to a pristine forest location to start work on a new town – cue the woodland animals putting the guy into hilarious situations to make the young ones laugh, until he understands that he must help them save the forest. you have to be very basic with kids films!
So there is this human guy who goes to a planet to help collect its resources until he joins the natives etc.. etc.. Its surprising that a film, which has a plot as simplistic as the above three films and many others could become the biggest of all time. Graphics are great, the level of depth of Pandora and its creatures is breathtaking, I just wish the plot was also.
Stunning graphics and characters; most of which just talk with beeps and whistles – it is basically a silent film, going more into depth about the problems with humanity more then the above films do. It also gets extra points for going into the issue of obesity.
If you liked the straight-to-video gore films of the 80’s, the kind that are full of blood, crash-humour and semi naked girls then this the environmental film for you and I. Its the story of a weedy mop cleaner who gets pushed into toxic waste and turns into a beefy mutant. he then seeks revenge on those that bullied him in the most sickest ways. However that’s not all its full of humour, its low budget somehow makes it great, the 80’s fashion is hilarious/ kind of cool and it has an environmental message. the Mayor of the city is aiming to gain loads of money from pouring toxic waste into the rivers – the Toxic Avenger stops him and the old lady running a white slave trade. This film was actually a success leading onto video games and an animated kids series – not bad for a 18+.
In my mind the best film from Studio Ghibli. Like all these Japanese fantasy movies they seem kind of hard to follow at first; but the message is there. Iron Town is destroying the forests, the sprits are a bit pissed cue pay back. Yes you can say, it sounds like Avatar, however trust me – this in my mind is the ultimate environmental film. please check it out.
Any other environmental films to add to the list?