Many things can change our opinions, perceptions, and perspective. Some of those are documentary films. Some time ago there’s an article with similar topic in this blog, but here are the newer ones that you should definitely see.
1. Chasing Coral
When a documentary film won an award at Sundance, you’ll know that it’s good. Chasing Coral is about ocean exploration done by the director and his team to discover the sad truth about coral reefs that have died off because of climate change. After you see this film, you might change your perspective when you go to places that emphasize on their coral reef beauty. Oh, and if you’re into VR, this film is available in that format, too.
2. Rancher Farmer Fisherman
Based on Miriam Horn’s book, this 2017 Sundance official selection film tells the story of how people can work together to solve the growing environmental problem that our Mother Earth now suffers.
According to Discovery Channel, this film “weaves together the stories of four unlikely conservation heroes working in America’s heartland. At a moment when it seems that collaboration is not just nonexistent but impossible, these working families cross political and other divides to arrive at real solutions for protecting the land and sea that define our country – and are crucial to all of our survival.”
3. Death by Design
Out of all films listed here, this one is probably going to hit close to home the most. Sue Williams, the director, is giving us a documentary about how humankind gets more dependent (maybe addicted) to electronics such as smartphones, computers, tablets, and stuff, and how it affects the environment.
The investigation is done globally and it’s thorough. This film will take you from the factories that make the technology to the devastating electronic waste because humanity never gets satisfied with one type of gadget. Williams told The Observer, “I wanted to present this as a problem that concerns us all and that implicates us all.”
4. The Memory of Fish
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The film's soundtrack is now available! This electro-acoustic underwater journey by composer Gil Talmi features two Moog Mother-32 modular synths, a mandolin, lush reverbs, and otherworldly sound design by Gisela Fulla Silvestre. Buy on iTunes: https://t.co/mYHhBPTs85 #thememoryoffish #moog
Fancy some great cinematography in documentary films? Well, this one won an award for it. Or are you an avid believer of the idea that nature and humanity coexist and rely on each other deeply? This film basically tells the story about it.
Elwha River on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula was once the habitat of salmon. It all had to go away when dams were built around the river. We’re following Dick Goin, a fisherman, and his endeavour to bring back the fish back into where they once belonged. It’s a nice, narrated documentary that shows us how much nature and humankind has some kind of mutualism that we need to maintain.
Let’s face it: shipping, especially cargo shipping, is not exactly environment-friendly. However most of the products we enjoy daily need to be transported with it. Director Denis Delestrac felt the need to make people aware about this fact with a thorough documentary about the industry’s environmental costs and international influence.
In a statement, Delestrac said, “I hope this film helps to shed some light on this part of our globalized society and inspires a change in our habits as consumers to turn the tide and create a more sustainable development scheme, whether you live in the East, the West, the North or the South.”
6. Out of the Blue
Not all fishermen and their family are reckless and ignorant about ocean life. In fact, they do care and try to do something to save it, including stop fishing altogether. That’s the basic story of this film. You’ll be immersed in the bluest of blue ocean in this VR format film and you’ll know the ocean-saving legacy from people of Cabo Pulmo.
Out of the Blue is narrated by Dr. Sylvia Earle. She’s the former Chief Scientist of The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence for 30 years. If you want to educate the little ones about ocean life, this 9-minute film is great for them.
7. 24 Snow
If looking at Game of Thrones’ area beyond The Wall makes you feel cold, this one might take it up a notch. This documentary tells the story of a horse breeder called Sergei who live in the farthest, most harsh, freezing place ever existed on Earth.
And this film was shot during Arctic winter, when the temperature drops to -62 degrees celsius (I definitely won’t survive there, I’ll collapse, freeze, and get mummified like Ötzi the iceman).
You’ll see Sergei herding horses through that ungodly weather and temperature. And when it doesn’t make you flinch or sympathize enough, his son is reluctant to continue what his father does for a living, focusing more on studying. So this man can’t predict future that awaits him and his profession.
8. Plastic China (2017)
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If you can handle it, watch this movie #PlasticChina – available on iTunes – China has been one of the biggest importers of plastic waste from Japan, Korea, US and Europe. This documentary follows the lives of members of one family who make their living by recycling plastic.
Plastic is a major problem that can go so deep to cultural matter, but this film is not about that. In Plastic China, we get to know the perspective of a person who handle and manage our waste daily. In fact, that person is a young girl called Yi-Jie. She works in a recycling facility and she has to manage her time between work, family duties, and her dream to get an education in school.
9. The Diver
When you look at diabolically polluted waters like Citarum River, the first thing you do might be getting away from it. But some people choose to forget about that and dive in those waters. This film is about a specialized diver called Julio Cesar Cu Cámara that has been working in Mexico City’s sewage syatem for over 30 years.
The unsung hero has unclogged drains and faced some nightmares from diving deep into the garbage-filled waters such as corpses like this dead horse here. This film probably will make you cringe a lot, but you will also think back on how you throw your things away, your footprint, and also the ones who have to do the dirty jobs.
10. Made in Cambodia
You might be familiar with ethical clothing and the unethical one’s problems. But when you really look at the lives of 75 million people who work so hard to make clothes that you’re going to wear, you’ll know how unethical some apparel industry are.
The delivery of this film is what makes it interesting. Instead of just interviewing the workers, which are mostly women, director Asad Faruqi brings fashion design students to Cambodian women who make the clothes and let them interview the laborers instead.
Any films that you’re interested to see or have seen from the list above? Don’t hesitate to tell us your thoughts in the comments below. For related reading, simply click this article.