From global warming to plastic pollution to mass agricultural effects, here is a list of 13 documentaries that are worth watching (or rewatching!). We tried to focus here on documentaries that show the truth, yes, but remains full of beauty and hope. A rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you with a fierce wish to protect our planet.
1. Our planetThis powerful documentary series is made of 8 episodes narrated by David Attenborough. The pictures are magnificent and breathtaking: we rediscover forests and oceans in their most beautiful state. What we call home is a planet made of different eco-systems, each one more beautiful and mesmerizing than the other. We, humans, are only a small part of it. Unfortunately, we act as a predator and threaten this precious balance. What the documentary is telling us, is that Nature might as well fight back one day and take back what’s hers. She doesn’t need us, but we do. The show provides food for thought. And above all, it leaves us with the wild desire to preserve the beauty of nature.
2. A life on our planet
A biographical movie format here, where David Attenborough (am I a fan ? yes, totally) recounts his career memories. Throughout the years, he witnessed the evolution and destruction of nature. How we eat, how we consume, how we travel: the way we are living as humans is destroying what we call home. If at some point, the movie makes you uncomfortable, it’s probably because truth is often inconvenient. But the world-renowned naturalist also shares his vision for the future, and for futures generations. The documentary ends on a very positive note, with concrete ways we can all start to make a change.
3. A plastic ocean
This documentary from Craig Leeson sheds the lights on marine eco-systems. We discover the consequences of our modern civilization. We all know that plastic is an issue, but do we really understand how bad it is? In this moving documentary, we measure the interconnectivity between our plastic consumption and our planet health.
The most pressing issues that our earth is facing come from our excessive lifestyle. We consume and waste too much. Minimalism is a documentary exploring the concept of minimalism, and how owning less can lead to a more balanced life. Watching this documentary might lead to a serious decluttering of your home!
This crowdfunded documentary from 2014 focus on the meat industry. Kip Andersen et Keegan Kuhn explore the ravages of animal agriculture on the environment. If some of their assertions have been disputed, it remains clear to us that the meat industry plays a major role in deforestation, water pollution and global warming.
“The oceans will be emptied of fish in the next 27 years”. Produced by Kip Andersen and directed by Ali Tabrizi, this documentary will explore the various effects of industrial fishing on our eco-system. Plastic pollution, but also overfishing, mass killing or even modern-day slavery: you’ll see how complex the problem is. If you’re not ready to go plant-based, this documentary will make you reconsider what you put on your plate.
7. My Octopus Teacher
It might be weird to list this movie here, but I believe it deserves a spot. My Octopus Teacher is the (real) touching story of a friendship between Craig Foster and an octopus. By showing how intelligent and sentient this cephalopod is, you can only want to learn more about marine life, and ultimately protect it.
8. A Brave Blue World
I feel greatful to have drinkable water from the tap. It’s a privilege. So many people on earth don't have access to clean water. Some don't have access at all. This documentary from Water.org (the organization cofounded by Matt Damon) tackles the issues of water scarcity, water health and explores solutions to manage water in a sustainable way.
9. Kiss the ground
The solution could be right under our feet. When we talk about ecology, we often talk about air or ocean pollution. This documentary wants to show that soil might actually be our way to make things better. It shares ideas on how to implement better agricultural practices through regenerative farming
10. Chasing Coral
Living corals are bright and colorful. They are tiny but essentials. Behind their beauty, they are also the guardians of our ocean’s biodiversity. They protect marine life, and they protect our shores. This documentary explores the rapidly spreading phenomenon of Coral bleaching. A must-see before your next trip to the ocean.
11. There’s something in the water
If you’ve never heard of environmental racism, this documentary is a must-watch. Directed by Elliot Page and Ian Daniel, it shed the lights on toxic industrial practices and governmental inaction affecting primarily poor communities. This documentary focuses on North America lands, but you can guess than this kind of issues exists on a world-wide level
A feel-good documentary from Cyril Dion et Mélanie Laurent. They travelled the globe with their team to discover the best solutions and initiatives to our most pressing issues, environmental but also social. They meet people and entrepreneurs who fight to make things better. They offer a positive take on our future
I'll end on the most optimistic and ludic movie of this list. 2040 is a documentary full of hope. The Australian Damon Gamon is wondering how 2040 will look like for his daughter. He is touring the world, looking for the best solutions that exists out there, and give us a vision of what the world could be if we would start to use them on a large scale. The solutions for a brighter future exist already, they are out there!