Music & Entertainment · · 9 min read

12 Must-Watch Sustainability Documentaries

Sustainability documentaries have emerged as powerful tools to educate, inspire, and galvanize action. There are many great sustainability documentaries available to watch, and each one offers a unique perspective on the issue. Some documentaries focus on the environmental impact of our consumption

Must-Watch Sustainability Documentaries

Sustainability documentaries have emerged as powerful tools to educate, inspire, and galvanize action.

There are many great sustainability documentaries available to watch, and each one offers a unique perspective on the issue.

Some documentaries focus on the environmental impact of our consumption habits, while others explore the possibilities of a more sustainable future.

There are also documentaries that focus on specific issues, such as climate change, deforestation, or plastic pollution.

The Power of Visual Storytelling

Human beings are wired to respond to stories. Sustainability documentaries harness the power of visual storytelling to connect with audiences on a deep emotional level.

By presenting real-life narratives, these films humanize complex issues and make them relatable. Whether it’s documenting the effects of climate change, unveiling unsustainable industries, or showcasing inspiring solutions, sustainability documentaries capture our attention and evoke empathy.

They transform statistics and data into stories that can move us to action.

Educating and Raising Awareness

Sustainability documentaries play a crucial role in raising awareness about pressing global challenges. They provide valuable information, presenting facts, expert opinions, and scientific evidence in an engaging and accessible manner.

Through captivating storytelling, these films demystify complex concepts, making sustainability issues more understandable and relatable to a broad audience.

They address a wide range of topics, such as climate change, deforestation, plastic pollution, and unsustainable consumption patterns.

By shining a light on these issues, documentaries empower individuals with knowledge, enabling them to make more informed choices and take meaningful action.

Influential Sustainability Documentaries

A Life on Our Planet

Sustainability Documentaries - A Life on Our Planet (2020)

In this film, Attenborough takes viewers on a journey through his extraordinary life and the remarkable changes he has witnessed on our planet. From the destruction of natural habitats to the alarming loss of biodiversity, the documentary paints a sobering picture of the current state of our environment.

However, it doesn’t stop at presenting the problems; it also offers hope and solutions. Attenborough shares his vision for a sustainable future, outlining practical steps we can take to restore balance to the natural world.

With its poignant storytelling and powerful cinematography, “A Life on Our Planet” serves as a call to action, inspiring viewers to be a part of the generation that makes a positive change for the planet and its inhabitants.

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Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. (2008)

Directed by Robert Kenner, this documentary exposes the hidden costs of industrialized food production, prompting viewers to consider the impact of their food choices on health, the environment, and animal welfare.

The documentary looks into issues such as factory farming, genetic engineering, and the dominance of a few powerful corporations in shaping our food choices.

Through interviews with farmers, industry insiders, and experts, “Food, Inc.” reveals the ethical, environmental, and health implications of our food system.

By shedding light on these critical issues, “Food, Inc.” serves as a catalyst for conversations about sustainability, food justice, and the need for a more transparent and sustainable food system.

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The True Cost

"The True Cost" (2015)

This eye-opening film by Andrew Morgan explores the social and environmental consequences of fast fashion, revealing the human and ecological toll of our clothing consumption habits.

The film argues that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, and that it is also a major contributor to human rights abuses.

The film shows how the race to produce cheap clothes has led to the exploitation of workers, the destruction of the environment, and the spread of disease.

The True Cost has been praised for its powerful message and its eye-opening insights into the fashion industry. The film has been credited with raising awareness of the environmental and human cost of fast fashion, and it has inspired many people to make changes in their own clothing consumption habits.

The film has also been criticized for its lack of focus on solutions. Some viewers have argued that the film does not offer enough concrete suggestions for how to change the fashion industry.

However, the film’s creators argue that their goal was to raise awareness of the problem, and that they hope that the film will inspire people to take action themselves.

The True Cost is an important film that raises important questions about the fashion industry. The film is a must-watch for anyone who is interested in the environmental and human cost of fast fashion.

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Before the Flood

before the flood documentary

“Before the Flood” is a compelling documentary that showcases the urgency of addressing climate change, brought to life by the collaboration of renowned actor and environmental activist, Leonardo DiCaprio, as its producer, and the skilled direction of Fisher Stevens.

The film embarks on a powerful and eye-opening global expedition, shedding light on the devastating consequences of climate change on our planet.

Through breathtaking visuals and informative interviews, it delves into the harrowing realities faced by communities worldwide, grappling with extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and the loss of biodiversity.

As the narrative unfolds, “Before the Flood” delivers a clear message on the necessity for sustainable practices and calls for immediate action to safeguard the Earth for future generations. It serves as a poignant wake-up call, inspiring viewers to become active agents of change in the fight against climate change.

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Minimalism

Minimalism documentary

“Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things” is a thought-provoking film that artfully captures the essence of the minimalist movement.

Under the skilled direction of Matt D’Avella, the documentary delves deep into the lives of those who have embraced minimalism, presenting a compelling case for reevaluating our consumer-driven society.

Through intimate interviews and compelling storytelling, the film explores the liberating effects of shedding excess belongings and emphasizes the importance of focusing on what truly matters – meaningful experiences, relationships, and personal growth.

With its minimalist aesthetics and insightful anecdotes, the documentary sparks a powerful reflection on the impact of material possessions on our well-being and invites viewers to question their own values and choices.

It is a thought-provoking journey that prompts us to seek a more purposeful and fulfilling existence, encouraging us to find happiness beyond the accumulation of material wealth.

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Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice Film

“Chasing Ice” is a visually mesmerizing documentary directed by Jeff Orlowski, which intimately captures the extraordinary work of renowned photographer James Balog.

The film takes viewers on an awe-inspiring journey to witness the profound effects of climate change through stunning time-lapse photography and breathtaking visuals.

James Balog’s dedicated efforts to document the rapid retreat of glaciers serve as a stark and undeniable testament to the Earth’s changing climate. As the film unfolds, it becomes apparent that the urgency of addressing climate change is more critical than ever before.

“Chasing Ice” serves as a wake-up call, urging viewers to confront the reality of our planet’s vulnerability and the imminent need for collective action to preserve and protect our natural world.

It is a poignant and compelling reminder of the power of visual storytelling to galvanize action and foster a deeper understanding of the global climate crisis.

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Kiss the Ground

Kiss the Ground

“Kiss the Ground” is a transformative documentary that delves into the potential of regenerative agriculture to combat climate change and revitalize our planet’s health.

With compelling narration by Woody Harrelson, the film takes audiences on a captivating journey to explore the groundbreaking practices of regenerative agriculture, which focus on restoring soil health and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere.

Through inspiring stories of farmers, scientists, and activists, “Kiss the Ground” showcases the immense power of regenerative practices in mitigating the climate crisis and fostering ecological balance.

The documentary delivers a hopeful message, emphasizing that through sustainable land management and conscious consumer choices, we can play an active role in healing the Earth and creating a more resilient and abundant future for generations to come.

“Kiss the Ground” is a call to action, urging viewers to recognize their connection to the land and join the global movement to protect and nourish our planet.

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A Plastic Ocean

A Plastic Ocean

“A Plastic Ocean” (2016), under the adept direction of Craig Leeson, is a powerful documentary that delves into the alarming crisis of plastic pollution in our oceans.

With a blend of shocking revelations and compelling narratives, the film uncovers the devastating impact of plastic waste on marine ecosystems and the countless species that call the oceans home.

Through captivating visuals and eye-opening interviews with scientists and environmental experts, “A Plastic Ocean” lays bare the harsh reality of plastic’s far-reaching consequences.

It serves as a poignant wake-up call, compelling viewers to confront the urgency of the issue and reevaluate their own plastic consumption habits.

The documentary fosters a sense of responsibility, encouraging individuals and communities to take action in reducing plastic waste, promoting sustainable alternatives, and contributing to the preservation of our oceans for generations to come.

“A Plastic Ocean” is a rallying cry for collective action to combat one of the most pressing environmental challenges of our time.

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Blackfish

Blackfish film

“Blackfish,” skillfully directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, is a gripping and thought-provoking documentary that sheds light on the dark underbelly of keeping killer whales in captivity.

The film provides a compelling and emotional account of the lives of captive killer whales, drawing attention to the questionable practices and ethical concerns prevalent in the entertainment industry.

Through poignant interviews with former trainers and experts, “Blackfish” reveals the psychological and physical toll of captivity on these majestic creatures, sparking a profound reevaluation of the human-animal relationship.

The documentary challenges the prevailing notion of using animals for entertainment and raises important questions about animal welfare, conservation, and our responsibility towards the species we share our planet with.

“Blackfish” serves as a powerful call to action, urging audiences to advocate for the protection and freedom of these intelligent beings and prompting a broader conversation about the ethical implications of captivity in the entertainment world.

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Racing Extinction

“Racing Extinction,” masterfully directed by Louie Psihoyos, is a captivating documentary that delves into the critical issue of species extinction driven by human activities.

The film presents a sobering and alarming account of the devastating consequences of human actions on the planet’s biodiversity.

Through stunning visuals and compelling storytelling, “Racing Extinction” sheds light on the myriad ways in which species are rapidly disappearing, underscoring the urgency of addressing this global crisis.

However, amidst the dark narrative, the documentary also shines a light on the heroic efforts of dedicated conservationists and activists working tirelessly to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Their unwavering commitment and inspiring stories offer a glimmer of hope and serve as a catalyst for positive change. Ultimately, “Racing Extinction” serves as a poignant reminder of humanity’s interconnectedness with the natural world and the pressing need for collective action to protect the precious web of life on Earth.

It calls on audiences worldwide to take a stand against species extinction and to champion a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with nature to ensure a thriving planet for future generations.

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Slay

Slay Film

Discover the hard-hitting documentary, “SLAY,” from the creators of the acclaimed films Cowspiracy and What The Health. Filmmaker Rebecca Cappelli takes viewers on a global journey to expose the disturbing truth about the fashion industry’s treatment of animals.

Is it acceptable to kill animals for fashion? “SLAY” reveals the grim realities of the animal skins trade, unveiling a heart-wrenching tale of greenwashing, mislabeling, and animal cruelty by major luxury fashion brands.

Brace yourself for a gripping exploration that unmasks the cover-ups and raises critical questions about the ethics of the fashion world.

Offering a compelling look into today’s fashion industry, “SLAY” goes beyond the surface to uncover viable and sustainable alternatives. Are you ready to delve beneath fashion’s skin and ignite a change for a more compassionate and responsible future?

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In Our Hands: Seeding Change

In Our Hands: Seeding Change

In our midst stands an enormous industrial food system, upheld by an outdated subsidy regime that favors landowners while leaving many farmers struggling to survive.

Yet, amid this vast landscape, whispers of change are growing louder. Stories of resilience from farmers in the global South have spread like pollen on the wind, inspiring a movement to reclaim control over the food system through the concept of food sovereignty.

From the fields and furrows, a new agricultural landscape is taking root—one that breathes life back into the soil, provides fair wages for farmers, and brings delectable flavors to our tables.

In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit referendum, The Landworkers’ Alliance and Black Bark Films embarked on a mission to unearth the farms and farmers driving this transformation. The future may be uncertain, but the seeds of a better food system are firmly “In Our Hands!”

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