Last week, I posted about Sustainable Cinema - green films that have changed our lives or the lives of someone we know. While books are wonderful, some times a movie can have more visual punch or can be viewed in a shorter period of time.
The response to my Sustainable Cinema post was wonderful. So many of you exchanged ideas on movies and shared thoughtful recommendations. Because there were so many new (to me) flicks mentioned, I thought it would be helpful to compile the suggestions into a easy to access list.
I've indicated when these DVDs are available through Netflix or Blockbuster Online. Some of them can even be downloaded online. Do not forget, however, to check your local library for these movies. My library carries a fair number of them and allows community members to reserve the movie for only $.75.
If you can't get your hot little hands on these DVDs or have one to lend, the superhero known as Burbanmom has offered her Going Green with Burbanmom Yahoo Group as a place to exchange green DVDs. It will work like this: If you have a green DVD that you are willing to lend, you post a TO LEND message on her Yahoo group. You send it to the first person to respond. When that person is done watching the DVD, they post a TO LEND message and it goes to the first responder, and so on. If no one responds, the DVD goes back to the original owner. If you have a green DVD that you are unable to find and you would like to borrow it, post a TO BORROW message on the Yahoo group. If you have not yet joined the Yahoo group, what are you waiting for!
- Who Killed the Electric Car?: This movie was by far the most recommended. It follows the demise of GM's electric car, the EV1, which was only ever available by lease and was not permitted to succeed. The movie is available on Netflix and on BlockBuster online.
- Blue Vinyl: This movie comes recommended by several commenters, The filmmakers unearth the truth about PVC - which was America's most popular plastic - and highlight its effects on the environment and human health. The movie is available on Netflix and BlockBuster online.
- The Story of Stuff: This is a 20 minute movie that can be watched for free online here. It delves into the environmental, human health and community impact of the material objects we own. It received multiple recommendations and I am adding my own. Because it is both free and short, there is no reason not to watch it.
- SuperSize Me: The subject of multiple recommendations, a groundbreaking documentary about the impact of America's fast food industry on those who eat it, it is available to download for free here. It also is available through Blockbuster and Netflix.
- Planet Earth Series: A number of you suggested this series from the Discovery Channel. It comes in a boxed DVD set and is called "the definitive look at the diversity of our planet". Abbie, who teaches AP environmental science and knows more about environmental DVDs than anyone I've come across, recommended it for the newly green or those you would like to convert. ;-) It is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- King Corn: Many commenters recommended this movie as did I. An entertaining romp through America's corn fields, it will change the way you view corn forever. This movie is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- To Hot Not To Handle: A simple and pointed look into global warming, from HBO, and what we can do to heal our planet. This movie was suggested by several commenters, including Natalie who recommends it over An Inconvenient Truth - particularly for those still on the fence. You can listen to the entire program for free here. It can also be found on Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- The 11th Hour: A couple of commenters this documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. The movie examines where we are - in terms of global warming, series extinction, resource depletion - and how we can work together to overcome these converging crises. This DVD is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- What Would Jesus Buy: A couple of you suggested this movie. In it, Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping take on consumerism, targeting the Christmas shopping season. You can find this movie at Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- How To Cook Your Life: This Buddhist take on the joys of organic cooking and exploration about how we treat our food was the subject of a couple of recommendations. This DVD is available on Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Global Warming - The Signs and The Science: This PBS documentary, hosted by Alannis Morrisette, "brings the reality of climate change to life" and showcases real people making a real difference. It is available both through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Harvest of Fear: In this 2 hour long documentary, Frontline and Nova explore the battle over genetically modified food crops. This movie comes highly recommended. As it is not available to rent, it might be a good candidate for sharing on the Burbanmom Yahoo group.
- Six Degrees Could Change the World: From National Geographic, this ninety minute documentary documents what will happen if our planet warms significantly due to global warming and explores what we can do to prevent overheating with technology and other methods. It is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Manufacturing Consent: A documentary about Noam Chomsky, a political dissident and critic of American mass media who believes that network news serves as "thought control in a democratic society." Manufacturing Consent is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Fast Food Nation: Commenters preferred Super Size Me to this movie. A look at the health, environmental and social consequences of our national obsession with fast food. This movie can be found through both Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- All In This Tea: A look at the history of tea, this award wining movie reconnects its drinkers with the tea farmers growing delicious harvests on the slopes of China, and examining the food system at large. This movie advocates both organic and fair trade tea. It can be found at Netflix.
- The Real Dirt on Farmer John: This movie documents a farmer, born on a farm through industrialization to the founding of a CSA offering organic vegetables to urbanites. This can be found at Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Burning the Future: An eye opening look at coal mining and mountain top removal in Appalachia. While this movie is not a "must see", it was very compelling and informative. It is available through Netflix.
- A Crude Awakening: A ninety minute documentary exploring Peak Oil and how it will impact our industrial society. It is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Affluenza: An hour long PBS movie that pre-dated the book, it delves into rampant consumerism and its impact on our community, environment and health. Check your local library for this DVD.
- Life After People: A 2008 movie from the History Channel that explores what the world would be life, hundreds of years from now, without any human inhabitants. It can be viewed through Netflix or Blockbuster Online. It can also be downloaded online here.
- Pale Male: This PBS movie follows the "adventures of Pale Male, a daring red-tailed hawk who manages to thrive in the urban world of New York City." It is recommended for introducing children to urban wildlife. You can rent it from Netflix.
- Life in the Freezer: A six part documentary series from BBC, it explores ecosystems in Antarctica - home to the largest source of fresh water. The movie is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- The Future of Food: This documentary investigates the relationships between big agriculture and government and explores the truth about genetically modified food. It can be rented from Netflix or Blockbuster Online.
- The Garden: This DVD has not yet been released by you can go here to request a screening. (I did!) It concerns an urban community garden constructed in South Central LA after the riots and the fight to keep that garden from falling victim to development.
- China Blue: A PBS documentary that uncovers the harsh life for teens who labor in a jeans factory in China. Learn where your clothes come from. I could not find this movie for rent online. Another great one to trade, if anyone has it, on Burbanmom's Yahoo group.
- The Power of Community- How Cuba Survived Peak Oil: A movie that explores Cuba's transition from industrial agriculture to urban, organic gardens after Cuba was cut off from oil by the fall of the Soviet Union. I could not find this movie available online. Again, this DVD would be nice to pass around on the Yahoo group.
- WalMart: The High Cost of a Low Price: This DVD examines how WalMart is able to charge such low prices - by paying its workers wages below the poverty line, crushing attempts to unionize and local businesses, and the conditions in its Third World factories. The movie is available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Black Gold: This movie exposes the truth behind our morning lattes - financial and physical struggles of coffee farmers. It is available through Netflix.
- Sundance Channel - The Green: Several different television series that focus on changes individuals or companies have made to reduce their environmental impact. It appears that some episodes can be viewed on the website, while most of the others are shown on the Sundance Channel. All free, of course.
- Global Tribe: A PBS series that travels around the globe, focusing on different environmental issues. It airs several times a year on PBS.
- Energy's Future with Alan Alda (on Connecticut Public Television)
- It Could Happen Tomorrow - possibly on CNN
- I Heart Huckabees: A 2004 mainstream movie featuring Lily Tomlin and Dustin Hoffman with some environmental overtones, including Beany's favorite line ever: "It's the petroleum, people!" A DVD can be rented from Netflix and Blockbuster Online.
- Dances with Wolves: Who hasn't seen this epic film about a Civil War soldier that embraces the simplicity of the Sioux lifestyle and reverence of nature. Available through Netflix and Blockbuster Online.