It’s Earth Day on Friday – essentially a reminder that our planet is dying with all of us on it and we need to do something about it, urgently.
Laying in bed with your lights off watching these won’t help the planet, but it might inspire you to join a group or go on a march, or even turn the planet’s wellbeing into a legitimate career.
Whatever you do after watching these, climate change won’t be far from your mind.
1. The Age of Stupid
Centred around a man living alone in a desolate 2055, tasked with the safekeeping of humanity’s art and knowledge, this is more than just a documentary.
“The message, never stated but constantly emerging, is that we all have our self-justifying myths. We tell ourselves a story of our lives in which we almost always appear as the heroes. These myths prevent us from engaging with climate change.
“The most powerful story of all, endlessly narrated by the hired hands of the fossil fuel industry, just as it was once told by the sugar slavers, is that we are both all-important and utterly insignificant. We are too important to be denied any of the delights we crave, but too insignificant to exert any impact on planetary processes. We fill the whole frame of the story when it suits us and shrink to a dot when that scale is more convenient. We are capable of occupying both niches simultaneously,” wrote George Monbiot, who features in the film, at the time of its release.
A number of films, bar Meat the Truth, fail to mention one of the biggest contributors to climate change – intensive livestock production.
Cowspiracy looks at the failings of environmental organisations in dealing with, or even seemingly talking about, the issue.
3. The Crisis of Civilisation
A look using dark comedy at the ecological crisis, as well as food shortages and the effect of dwindling oil reserves.
4. This Changes Everything
Inspired by Naomi Klein’s book of the same name, This Changes Everything portrays it like this: Capitalism v Climate.
“The old paradigm will be forced to change, either by the environment – or by us”.
The documentary focuses the communities fighting for climate justice around the world, although mainly in the Global South, and essentially asks us to seize climate change as an opportunity to “build a better world”.
This probably wouldn’t be described as a documentary on climate change by the film’s creators, but if the scenes in Samsara don’t leave you in awe of the world and its diverse population, and wanting to do something to protect that, then we just don’t know what will.
Not a word is spoken throughout, but the imagery is so striking you probably won’t realise that until the end.
We’ve included this one last because climate change can be an incredibly heavy subject to deal with, given that it’s one giant crisis engulfing us all. This film provides a look at what we’re trying to save like no other that you’ll see.