Earth Day Watchlist: Five Films That Inspire Environmental Awareness and Action




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As Earth Day approaches, celebrating our planet and contemplating our impact on it becomes a focal point. Movies can play a powerful role in this reflection by offering insights and provoking thoughts about environmentalism and humanity’s footprint on Earth. Here’s a curated list of films that resonate with Earth Day themes and where you can stream them.

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth

This animated film is based on the children’s book by Oliver Jeffers and takes viewers on a journey through the wonders of the planet Earth, seen through the eyes of a young boy learning about the world. The film combines stunning visuals with a heartfelt narrative to teach children about the beauty and responsibility of living on our planet.

“Here We Are” has received critical acclaim for its ability to convey complex environmental issues in a gentle and accessible manner, making it not only an educational tool for Earth Day but also a catalyst for starting conversations about environmental stewardship among younger audiences. Its reception underscores the importance of teaching future generations about the value of conservation and respect for nature.

Stream Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth on Apple TV

Earth Days

“Earth Days” is a documentary that looks back at the evolution of the environmental movement in the United States, starting from its roots in the 1950s to the first Earth Day celebration in 1970. The film features personal testimonies from nine individuals who played active roles in the early environmentalist efforts, combining their stories with archival footage.

The cultural impact of “Earth Days” is profound, as it not only documents the origins of Earth Day but also inspires viewers to reflect on the progress made since the 1970s. It highlights the ongoing challenges in environmental protection, making it highly relevant for Earth Day observances. The film was well-received for its informative and inspiring portrayal of the environmental movement’s history and its message of continued necessity for activism.

Stream Earth Days on Amazon Prime

The Day the Earth Stood Still

The 2008 remake of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” features Keanu Reeves as Klaatu, an alien sent to Earth with a grave warning about human behavior and the planet’s future. This modern adaptation shifts the focus towards environmental destruction, with Klaatu judging whether humanity can prevent its extinction and preserve the earth’s biodiversity. Unlike the original, this version delves deeply into themes of ecological disaster and redemption.

Though the film received mixed reviews for its execution and departure from the original’s Cold War themes, it has gained relevance over the years as a commentary on environmental neglect and the urgent need for global cooperation. Its portrayal of Earth on the brink of ecological collapse serves as a compelling backdrop for Earth Day, reminding viewers of the urgent need to address environmental issues. The film’s emphasis on the consequences of environmental disregard resonates strongly today, making it a poignant watch for those reflecting on our planet’s health and our responsibilities towards it.

Stream The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) on Hulu

I Am Greta

“I Am Greta” follows Greta Thunberg, a teenage climate activist from Sweden, from her early school strike in Stockholm to international stages. The documentary highlights her passionate calls for immediate action to address the world’s climate crisis and captures her challenges and triumphs.

Greta Thunberg’s story has had a significant cultural impact, energizing a global youth movement and pushing environmental issues to the forefront of global discussions. “I Am Greta” has been praised for its intimate portrayal of a young woman who has become a symbol of the fight against climate change, reflecting the growing public reception and support for urgent environmental action.

Stream I Am Greta on Hulu

Planet Of The Humans

Directed by Jeff Gibbs and produced by Michael Moore, “Planet of the Humans” takes a critical look at the green energy movement, questioning the effectiveness of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power. The documentary suggests that much of what is marketed as sustainable is not as green as it seems, provoking a controversial discussion about the methods and practices of environmental groups.

The film sparked significant debate upon its release, with its critical perspective on renewable energy solutions and the environmentalist movement. While it faced criticism for some of its conclusions and factual accuracy, “Planet of the Humans” serves as a provocative piece that urges viewers to question and scrutinize the solutions being presented to them, making it especially relevant for Earth Day discussions about sustainable practices and the future of energy.

Stream Planet of Humans on Amazon Prime

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