5 Docs to Understand Climate Change

The COP21 conference in Paris is almost over, but the implications of global warming aren’t going anywhere.

Countless documentaries, good and bad have been made on the subject of climate change, and choosing 5 out of the bunch is no easy task, nor can it do them justice.

But hey, last check we only have 24 hours in a day, and temperatures are still rising so here is my crack at it:

The Island President

Jon Shenk’s The Island President is the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man trying to save his country and everyone in it from disappearing due to the threat of rising sea levels. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed rightfully notes “What is the point of having democracy, if we are not sure to have a country.”

A vital watch for those who can’t quite grasp the urgency of dealing with climate change. Watch here.

 

This Changes everything

Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

Directed by Avi Lewis, and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines of climate change, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond.

Klein’s narration in the film, connects the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there to builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Request a screening of the film here.

 

Chasing Ice

Undoubtedly one the most breathtaking images you have and will ever see.  It’s a shame that the documentary is so obsessed with facts it misses some of the poetry that ice triggers in the viewer. Nonetheless, Chasing Ice is quite revealing to say the least. The film follows the adventure of National Geographic photographer James Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, as he travels across the Arctic to survey the dramatic melt of glaciers. Balog’s hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a worrying rate. Traveling with a young team of adventurers by helicopter, canoe and dog sled across three continents, Balog risks his career and well-being in pursuit of arguably the biggest story in human history unfolding before our eyes.

Watch it on Netflix or here.

 

Cowspiracy

Initially crowdfunded on Indigogo, Cowspiracy sets out to explore one of the biggest taboos of climate change: the devastating effects of animal agriculture on the environment. After its initial Indie release, the film was picked up by none other than Leonardo Dicaprio, and a new cut of the film was released on Netflix on September 2015. The facts are shocking but it is told with a sense of humour, which saves the film.

Watch it here.

 

 

The Age of Stupid

This 2009 British film directed by Franny Armstrong is revolutionary for many reasons. The makers of this film were among the first to use the crowdfunding financing model, and pioneered a new distribution system called Indie Screenings which allows anyone anywhere to hold a screening of the film and keep profits for themselves. So, here is an idea for you if you are running out of cash, courtesy of Documaniaks 🙂

The film is a drama-documentary-animation hybrid which stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, watching archive footage from the mid-to-late 2000s and asking “Why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?”

The producers have kindly released the film for free on Youtube. So all you gotta do is press play.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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