Movies have long helped us understand what it means to live on earth and contribute to an ecologically sustainable planet. Filmmakers have long considered the environmental consequences of human behavior, imagined ecological changes on local and global scales, explored catastrophic failures of resource management, and told all kinds of other planetary and environmental stories.
Sometimes, these themes are central to a film’s story. In the best ones, such elements underlie a well-written narrative that tells a gripping story about personal relationships, challenges the way we think, or expands our views of the human experience.
This World Environment Day, we bring you a curated list of some of the best green flicks that you can watch online and learn more about environmental conservation.
1- Before the Flood
Before the flood (2016) finds its place at the top of our list. It is a documentary film about climate change directed by Fisher Stevens. It stars Leonardo Di Caprio who himself is an environmental activist as a narrator of the film. Dicaprio visited different parts of the earth to showcase the effect of global warming. He in this docu-movie raises questions to politicians and lobbyists about the whole manufactured culture of climate denial at upper levels of decision making.
2- Chasing Coral
Released in 2017, Chasing Coral explores how coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater secrets to the world. The film does a useful job of informing us why coral is so important, showing how it provides sustenance to fish who then become food for other animals and human beings.
(Pic credits: Films for Action)
3- Erin Brockovich
Environmental activism is an integral part of our fight against organizations who are responsible for degrading our planet and this feature film by director Steven Soderbergh beautifully captures the essence of environmental activism. Erin Brockovich is the story of a single mother of three working in a legal office, who encounters the medical records of a local woman who was treated by PG&E doctors. Looking more closely, Brockovich finds many community members with similar illnesses, all treated by the same doctors. Eventually, she reveals a decades-long corporate cover-up of pollution and ensuing health problems in the community. The movie was released in 2000 and the character of Erin was portrayed by Julia Roberts.
4- An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary-style movie by Davis Guggenheim about the former USA vice president Al-Gore efforts to raise public awareness about the effects of climate change. The film forms an illustrated talk on climate by Al Gore, aimed at alerting the public to an increasing “planetary emergency” due to global warming, and shows re-enacted incidents from his life story which influenced his concerns about environmental issues.
The impact of this movie was so strong that it was recommended as compulsory to show across all the schools to students. This docu-film was followed by a sequel titled An Inconvenient truth: Truth to power. The movie is rated as 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The second last movie in our must-watch list of green movies is a Marathi flick named Paani, produced by Bollywood star, Priyanka Chopra. This movie depicts the stark reality of drought and the scarce availability of water resources in Vidhirbha and Latur regions of Maharashtra. Along with the issue of water scarcity, the movie also depicts the sociological and emotional impact of the water crisis on the local communities. The filmmaker takes the grounded reality, all its grimness and glee and roots them in conversational familiarity.
(Pic credits: Greenpeace)
6- Chernobyl (miniseries)
Released in 2019, Chernobyl, as the name suggests, is based on the infamous nuclear disaster that took place in April 1986, near the city of Pripyat in the north of the erstwhile Ukraine Soviet Socialist Republic. The movie deals in detail about the accounts of the unfateful event and the cleanup efforts that followed the event. However, the series also saw a critical response from some groups in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The Communist Party of Communists of Russia called for libel lawsuit against Chernobyl’s writer, director and producers.
Nevertheless, this miniseries is a must-watch. The miniseries gives quite a clear and disappointing idea of how the entire incident did not only destroy the lives of billion but also endangered the future generations. The miniseries also captures beautifully the severe impact that nuclear accident had caused on local flora and fauna species.