After watching Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before the Flood, I embarked on a harrowing environmental documentary binge. In a humble attempt to promote these films and spread climate change awareness, I’ve compiled a list of my top 5 picks:
Netflix and Chill: Chasing Ice
Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Ice is as terrifying as it is moving. The film follows photographer and once climate change skeptic, James Balog, as he faces extreme conditions in order to gain visual evidence of the existence of global warming. Shot with time lapse technology, the footage is extraordinary, and near impossible to look away from. This is said with particular reference to the scene in which the largest case of glacial calving ever filmed is shown. This is a shocking scene in which an area of ice equivalent in size to Lower Manhattan collapses into the sea, forming mammoth-like icebergs several times higher than New York skyscrapers. It sounds almost fantastical, but to go by Balog philosophy, seeing is believing.
Netflix and Drill: GasLand
Although a lot has changed since the 2010 release of GasLand, it remains a deeply alarming, relevant and informative documentary. The film exposes the impact Hydrolic Fracturing, or fracking, has on the planet, whilst also uncovering the domestic dangers the industry holds over the public's health. I’m sure it’s a film which will only become all the more relevant during Trump’s reign, so is well worth a watch.*
*If you're in the mood for a Gasland marathon, try whacking on the 2013 Gasland II.
Netflix and Kill: Cowspiracy
Pour yourself a stiff drink before watching this one. Cowspiracy is a fearless eye-opening documentary which reveals the brutal truth behind the meat industry’s relationship with major environmental organisations. I watched this documentary at a time where I was dabbling with veganism. Although I primarily ate plant-based foods, I was occasionally known to slip seafood into my diet. However, after watching Cowspiracy, I realised that I had to make the full change. I’m sure a lot of this decision came down to a healthy dose of guilt, but this is not to say that I ended the film feeling like a flesh-eating, planet-slaughtering monster. Rather, I closed my laptop feeling uplifted by the idea that I could be active in my fight against climate change. That there was a solution. A way out of the shitstorm. All I can say is give Cowspiracy a try—you might surprise yourself.
Netflix and Grill: Food Choices
If you want to be shocked, watch Cowspiracy, if you want to feel enlightened, watch Food Choices. Through interviews with doctors, athletes, bloggers, and activists, Food Choices examines the benefits of a planet-based diet, not only for our health, but also the planet’s and the welfare of animals. It’s a tame watch in comparison to many of the films listed here, but a brilliant choice for those flirting with or wanting to learn more about veganism. Even if it doesn’t succeed in turning you vegan, it’s an uplifting film that is guaranteed to make you think and question our dietary choices. Only 90 minutes long, it’s an absolute joy to watch.
Netflix and Krill: Mission Blue