7 Impactful documentary films that will inspire you to go green

Towards a greener planet


By Su Fen Tan

7 Impactful documentary films that will inspire you to go green

Mission Blue (2014)

Mission Blue explores the life and work of Sylvia Earle, pioneering diver and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, and brings marine issues to the forefront with a deeply human approach. “60 years ago, when I began exploring the ocean, no one imagined that we could do anything to harm it,” said Earle. How times have changed, and she has been there to witness it all – the effects of our environmental negligence on the ocean and marine wildlife.


The True Cost (2015)

Fast fashion victim or not, The True Cost will prove to be an eye-opening documentary film on the garment industry and the way we consume fashion. The question raised here is: What are the consequences of an industry that has become entirely focused on profits? The detriment of environment is one, but it also raises the issue of the living conditions of the workers in the industry. Watch this, read our fashion editor’s opinion piece on sustainability, and you will most likely think twice when you pick up that garment on the shop rack next time.


An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

An Inconvenient Truth won two Academy Awards and grossed more than $50 million worldwide – for good reason. Global warming is real and it is caused by human activity, and this film Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming has served to raise international public awareness on the issue, as well as reenergise the environmental movement. “The world won’t ‘end’ overnight in 10 years,” says Gore. “But a point will have been passed, and there will be an irreversible slide into destruction.” Like it or not, that’s the truth, and this film tells just why we shouldn’t shy away from it.


Food, Inc. (2008)

This Academy Award-nominated film by Robert Kenner will probably change the way we, or at least a lot of us, mindlessly take in food without thinking about how or where they come from. It examines America’s deeply unsustainable food system which is designed to grow everything “faster, fatter, bigger, cheaper”, and its impacts on our health and environment. 


More Than Honey (2012)

Fact: Out of 100 crop species that provide us with 90% of our food, 70% are pollinated by bees. But bee colonies have been radically disappearing in many parts of the globe due to a variety of factors. In More Than Honey, Markus Imhoof sets out to shed light on the importance of bees, and investigate the colony collapse disorder.


The Cove (2009)

Richard O’Barry used to train dolphins, but then he began to question the way the animals were used in captivity. Since then, he has become a prominent activist in the defense of dolphins, both captive and non-alike. Nearly 23,000 dolphins are brutally slaughtered every year in “the cove” at the Taiji National Park in Japan. They are cornered and stabbed to death with spears and knives, and the meat is then sold to the fish market. This film might not be for the faint of heart, but it delves into the terrible reality beyond dolphinarium and the unnecessarily cruel approaches human have developed for killing animals. 


Plastic Paradise (2014)

Journalist and filmmaker Angela Sun offers new insights on the damage that modern technology is doing to the planet. Not only are poorly disposed plastic objects harming the marine animals that ingest it, this in turn cause harm to the people who eat fish on a regular basis – particularly chemically treated plastic. Through encounters with scientists and researches, Sun shows us that our consumption and reliance on plastic is more insidious that we think. 


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