Most of these recommended films are documentaries (D) addressing a wide variety of climate change issues and topics, starting with Al Gore’s award-winning An Inconvenient Truth.
For everyone who admires David Attenborough and his extraordinary A Life on Our Planet released in 2020, in June, 2021 (and avalable on Netflix) is his latest, ‘Breaking Boundaries: The Science Of Our Planet’.
In February, 2021, Yale Climate Connections published a piece reviewing five top new climate documentaries, which included 2040, one of our top pics. You might also want to check out Meltdown – a new documentary featuring Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change, and world-renowned art photographer Lynn Davis, which premiered on Valentine’s Day. An intimate exploration of art and science, beauty and tragedy, the personal and the global, it is set amidst the massive and spectacularly beautiful icebergs breaking off of Greenland at an accelerating rate.
Truly great feature films about the climate crisis are tough to come by. Occasionally a science fiction (SF) film gets both the storytelling and the science right, but rarely.
There is a great article by Jeremy Deaton addressing this issue: “Why Are There No Good Movies About Climate Change?” which concludes, “You have to invent a compelling story. It’s all about story.”
In December, 2021 a truly great feature film on climate finally arrived: Adam McKay’s comedy Don’t Look Up (with Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, not to mention Meryl Streep, Mark Rylance and Cate Blanchett to mention a few of the other great performers) is not only entertaining (#1 for days on Netflix), but prescient. Read more about it in David Robert’s newsletter Volts, where you can also see the YouTube trailer. In movie theaters and streaming on Netflix.
Films covering multiple categories will have no icon.
2040 is a hybrid feature documentary that looks to the future, but is vitally important NOW! The 2040 journey began with award-winning director Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film). Motivated by concerns about the planet his 4-year-old daughter would inherit, Damon embarked on a global journey to meet innovators and changemakers in the areas of economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability. Drawing on their expertise, he sought to identify the best solutions, available to us now, that would help improve the health of our planet and the societies that operate within it. From marine permaculture to decentralised renewable energy projects, he discovered that people all over the world are taking matters into their own hands. Read a review from ABC.
Hot Money outs the whole game, the whole charade, the whole crap shoot of the money system with all the humor and intelligence of a New Yorker cartoon.
Produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners, Ice on Fire is an eye-opening documentary that focuses on many never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis. The film goes beyond the current climate change narrative and offers hope that we can actually stave off the worst effects of global warming. More coverage at BBC News and Living on Earth.