Discussions about climate change can be overwhelming and anxiety-provoking. Therefore, addressing the issue in movies can help reach a wider audience and educate people who otherwise might not be interested in learning more about such a crucial topic. From older documentaries to the latest blockbusters, here’s a list of the best climate change movies to watch this year.
1. Don’t Look Up (2021)
First on our list of the best climate change movies is Don’t look up with Leonardo DiCarpio. Netflix’s record-breaking film tells the story of a science teacher and his young student discovering a rapidly approaching comet that is set to reach Earth and will likely destroy it. Together, they must convince the government as well as the public of the existential threat and the catastrophic consequences it can have on humanity. However, the task is harder than they think when no one takes them seriously. The team struggles to break through the social media madness, political inaction and lack of media attention. Indeed, the comet approaching the planet is an ambivalent metaphor for climate change and its disastrous effects. The film is also a reminder that politicians are clearly not doing enough and that if they don’t act quickly, it will be too late to save our planet.
2. Princess Mononoke (1997)
Despite its release 25 years ago, the Japanese film Princess Mononoke remains one of the most beloved and relevant films about climate change. Travelling To find the cure for a demonic curse, protagonist Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the gods of the forest and Tatara, a mining colony. The hard-hitting political anime depicts the consequences of nature’s destruction and humanity’s inability to live in harmony, sending a powerful message that, sadly, still holds true today.
3. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Next on our list is a remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi film about a human-like alien visitor and his giant robot counterpart who land on Earth. The alien identifies himself as Klaatu and says he has come to save the planet. Although she sees him as a threat, Dr. Helen Benson, who has been summoned to an American military installation, decides to facilitate her escape. However, once she learns that he intends to eradicate humans from Earth. Why? Due to human activities and climate change. In the 21st century version, humans are destroying Earth’s environment and the aliens have come to save the planet and its species, except for humanity. The film does a great job of shedding light on the damage humanity has done and continues to do while delivering an urgent warning of what the future holds.
4. Before the Flood (2016)
One of the best films about climate change is Before the Flood, a collaboration between actor and Earth Alliance co-founder Leonardo DiCaprio and National Geographic. Taking viewers around the world, the documentary presents harrowing accounts of how different stakeholders are affected by climate change through deforestation, sea level rise and other human activities. The documentary calls on world leaders to fight for a more sustainable future and offers viewers solutions they can implement in their lives, from reducing meat consumption to voting for leaders who will initiate positive environmental change. .
5. Eat Until Extinction (2021)
The Next Step is a documentary narrated and produced by Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet. This illuminating film explores how the global food industry is accelerating climate change through a host of unsustainable practices. Through undercover footage and Indigenous testimonies, Eat our way to extinction will undoubtedly change your perception of food and help you understand how modern industry compromises food safety.
6. 2040 (2019)
If you’re looking for something less grim and more optimistic, 2040 is a refreshing and optimistic choice. Rather than focusing on the urgency of the problems, the solution-focused documentary depicts the story of an Australian father who imagines what life for his four-year-old daughter might look like in the future. Much of the article is dedicated to highlighting technological breakthroughs and creative alternatives to meet the challenges of climate change – from renewables like rooftop solar to regenerative farming practices and multipurpose use. seaweed to combat the looming problem of food insecurity.
If you like our guide, you might want to check it out next: 20 best books on climate change and sustainability in 2022
7. Burn (2021)
Oscar-winning Australian filmmaker Eva Orner takes a look at the unprecedented, catastrophic and deadly event Australian bushfires of 2019-2020 known as “Black Summer”. Telling the story from the perspective of those directly involved in and affected by the fires as well as activists and scientists, the documentary exposes the Australian Government’s inaction and the irreversible damage these catastrophic events have left behind, bringing to light the global problem of climate change. .
8. The Day After (2004)
This 2004 masterpiece by Roland Emmerich tells the story of climatologist Jack Hall, whose research highlighted the possibility of a superstorm developing and triggering catastrophic natural disasters across the globe. Similar to what DiCaprio goes through in his Don’t look upHall faces judgment as UN officials and world leaders ignore his warnings of impending tragedy. Two days later depicts a catastrophic weather event that is not as far from reality as one might think. In the film, the Atlantic Ocean stops, plunging the Earth into an ice age. As the evidence for the weakening of the water circulation system in the ocean increases, we cannot rule out that something similar could actually happen in the future.
9. An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
An inconvenient truth is one of the best environmental films ever made. The concert film chronicles former US Vice President Al Gore’s campaign in 2000 to educate people about global warming, making the documentary stand out in its experimental storytelling. This conference-like presentation on climate change, Gore claims, was delivered to a global audience more than 1000 times. Along with detailed charts, flowcharts, and visuals, the slideshow also collects personal anecdotes such as Gore’s college education with an early climate expert. The film ends with Gore pointing out how “each of us is a cause of global warming, but [….] the solutions are in our hands.
10. David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)
In what David Attenborough calls his “witness statement” for the environment, A life on our planet guides viewers through his 60-year career and demonstrates the devastating changes our planet has seen in his lifetime. Originally released on Netflix in 2020, the 85-minute documentary features some pretty grim predictions for the future if humanity continues on its current path, including a sixth mass extinction and a 4°C global temperature rise that will make large parts of the Earth uninhabitable. Atypical of his usual nature documentaries, Attenborough adopts a more critical tone in Our planet, denouncing man’s treatment of the natural world, which makes his message of hope all the more effective as he evokes solutions to fight the climate crisis at the conclusion of the film.