I'm a bookworm. I mean a total bookworm. Ever since I was a kid, I've gobbled up books by the dozens. Lately, my drug of choice is environmentally relevant books. Shocker, I know.
But there are times when a book just won't do. Perhaps you're too tired. Or you need something more visual. Or you'd like to share environmental ideas with someone who doesn't have time to read. In those cases, its nice to know that there is a lot of seriously sustainable cinema.
A year ago, my husband and I went to see The 11th Hour, a documentary produced by Leonardo Di Caprio. It didn't last long in theatres, didn't bring in much money and didn't catch media attention like its predecessor, The Inconvenient Truth. It was, however, an eye opening film full of truth and optimism. It solidified my desire to reduce my personal environmental impact and gave me hope. It persuaded my husband that climate change is happening much quicker than expected and that there are ways we can blunt its force if only we act now. We left the theater with the voices of Paul Hawken and others, as they formulated ideas for change, for overcoming, echoing in our heads. We were invigorated and determined to make a difference. Ten months later, my family has embraced green living. We've become vocal and active in our community and my husband has explored technical solutions for a more sustainable future.
While not quite as impactful, we also enjoyed King Corn when it was shown on PBS several months ago. By the time I watched King Corn, I'd read The Omnivore's Dilemma with its descriptions of the massive amounts of corn produced in this country. The written word is powerful but even Michael Pollan could not convey the true enormity of the corn pyramids of Iowa, the vast fields that stretch across counties and states. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and, in this case, it was true. The movie was light-hearted, fairly objective and brought home just what the Farm Bill and subsidies have done to our food system. After watching this movie, I've never thought of corn - or its five million derivatives, the same again.
Earlier this week, Eco 'Burban Mom wrote about the impact of An Inconvenient Truth on her middle school boys. It made them more aware but in ways that they can digest the issue of global warming - as it impacts their lives, their hobbies.
What meaningful movies would you recommend? Did any change your life or the life of someone you know? Do you feel they augment what you have read in books or take away from that experience?
For those of you, like me, frantically tracking down the awesome recommendations everyone is throwing out there, please check back next week. I will post a follow up with all the titles neatly jotted down, with links, and a few words about the movies. That way, all we need to do is grab some popcorn (hmm, maybe not after King Corn) and start watching.