18 Movies on Environmental Issues For Your Next Movie Night

September 16, 2023

With rising awareness of climate change and environmental protection on a global scale, we have gathered 18 movies that were produced with the environmental theme over the years. While some are more recreational than others, we believe these movies have messages to the audience and help raise awareness.

1. Don’t Look Up (2021)

Directed by Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up is a black comedy featuring a story of two astronomers attempting to warn humanity about an approaching comet that will destroy human civilization. As it is a result of climate change, the movie is a satire of the government and the media’s reaction.

2. Polar Bear (2022)

The movie follows a polar bear that is new to her motherhood and her journey to protecting the cubs and navigating through the challenges. With climate change, polar bears face more challenges than ever before and the documentary shows how it has impacted them.

3. Seaspiracy (2021)

Seaspiracy shows the environmental impact of fishing and the human impacts on marine life. The movie dives into various aspects, including plastic pollution, ghost nets, and overfishing, and criticizes the concept of sustainable fishing and few marine conservation organizations.

4. The Alpinist (2020)

The film follows a 23-year-old Canadian, Marc-André Leclerc on his solo adventure. With no ropes or cameras, this documentary shows a solo climbing journey in Patagonia through Leclerc's pure vision of climbing.

5. Kiss the Ground (2020)

Kiss the Ground is a documentary that regenerates hope for the climate through the healing power of the soil, which eventually could be the solution for climate change. Woody Harrelson narrates an optimistic and persuasive viewpoint of our soil’s capacity in reversing climate change.

6. I am Greta (2020)

This documentary follows Greta Thunberg, a teenage Swedish environmentalist, and her journey around the world to raise awareness about the world’s environmental problems.

7. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)

David Attenborough visited every continent in the world at the age of 93, exploring and documenting life, and has seen the human impact on nature. The documentary is his witness statement of our planet and its crisis.

8. The Biggest Little Farm (2019)

Directed by John Chester, The Biggest Little Farm is a 2018 documentary film featuring John Chester and his wife Molly’s farm in Moorpark, California, and their journey to developing a sustainable farm.

9. Dark Waters (2019)

Based on the 2016 New York Times Magazine article "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare" by Nathaniel Rich, Dark Waters is about a lawyer and his case against the chemical manufacturing corporation that contaminated a town with unregulated chemicals.

10. Chasing Coral (2017)

In the documentary "Chasing Coral", viewers are faced with the reality of rapidly disappearing coral reefs which have been exacerbated by climate change. Through the lens of a team of divers and scientists, the film offers a look at the devastating effects of coral bleaching from the changing ocean conditions and features underwater ecosystems that are on the brink of extinction.

12. Youth Unstoppable (2018)

"Youth Unstoppable" focuses on the burgeoning youth climate movement and captures the passion and determination of activists globally. Shot over the course of 12 years, this documentary showcases some of the grassroots initiatives around climate change, and the resilience and optimism of a generation that’s taking action to address the ongoing crisis.

13. Ice on Fire (2019)

Produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, "Ice on Fire”' is a documentary that spotlights the groundbreaking efforts and innovations aimed at halting climate change. It features scientists and activists developing methods to reduce carbon emissions and stabilize Earth's climate.

14. The Year Earth Changed (2021)

Directed by John Chester, The Biggest Little Farm is a 2018 documentary film featuring John Chester and his wife Molly’s farm in Moorpark, California, and their "The Year Earth Changed" captures the environmental shifts observed during the global hiatus induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Narrated by David Attenborough, the film documents the resurgence of nature in the absence of human interference and offers a fresh perspective on the relationship between humans and nature.\

15. The True Cost (2015)

"The True Cost" offers a critical examination of fast fashion and sheds light on the social and environmental repercussions of the trend-driven practice. The documentary unveils the lives of laborers in developing countries and the significant environmental impact perpetuated by the industry. It encourages viewers to ponder their fashion choices and the necessity for more ethical and sustainable practices. 

16. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

This documentory is a squel to The Inconvenient Truth, realised in 2006. The film highlights the urgency of climate change and efforts to tackle. The movie focuses on Al Gore's journey to persuade governmental leaders to invest in climate change solutions such as renewable energy and his efforts to inluence international climate policy as a global leader.

17. High Water (2022)

High Water on Netflix is 1997, is based on true events of a Polish city, Wroclaw going underwater. In 1997, the Central European Flood sunk 40% of Wroclaw, killing more than hundred people. The movie centers around how the scientists and the government official reacts to the disaster to protect the city and the people.

18. Okja (2017)

The innovative andintense movie "Okja" is the second entry in our list directed by BongJoon-ho. The narrative centers on the extraordinary friendship that develops between a little girl named Mija and Okja, a super-pig created through genetic engineering. Mija sets out on a global quest to rescue her beloved pet Okjawhen the latter is kidnapped by a formidable multinational organization, throwing a focus on corporate greed, animal ethics, and the enduring power ofthe human-animal bond. The movie helps the audience think about the heating debate on the environmental and ethical impact of eating meat and what it might really mean by 'sustainable' meat production.

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