In the current social climate of a world filled with so many different issues, it can become overwhelming, trying to deal with all of them at once. We are always being persuaded by the media to make a change- whether it be specifically to do with climate change, pollution, or even consumerism. It is difficult to ‘pick’ a social issue to deal with right now, so we at BioEnviro have created a short list of six worthwhile films to help you decide if you are already doing your part with certain social issues, or if you would simply like to learn more about the issue.

1) A film for if you need some reassurance about the earth’s future:

The ‘2040’ film is a 2019 documentary directed by and primarily starring Damon Gameau, you may know him from his award-winning documentary ‘That Sugar Film’. Damon’s documentary, ‘2040’ was motivated by his concerns for his, at the time, 4-year-old daughter’s future due to climate change’s impact on Earth. The film begins by focusing on a potential future for our planet, scrutinising the effects of climate change over the next 20 years. Damon Gameau portrays how the biggest risk in reversing the climate crisis is a collective sense of immense helplessness, so as a response to that, he travels the world to meet with change-makers and experts to draw on their skills and knowledge on climate change and its factors. One of the greatest things about this documentary is that Damon Gameau not only recognises a potentially harmful and damaged future, but he focuses on what we can do now in order to create the ideal future for not only ourselves but future generations. His global journey visits not only practical solutions that are being practised in other parts of the world now but achievable solutions for the future to limit the effects of climate change. This documentary on global warming and the climate change crisis stands out from other documentaries of its kind as it displays an optimistic vision for the future, featuring so many different perspectives from different disciplines- it is a breath of fresh air when compared to the negativity we are so often fed through the media.

2) A film for if you want to know more about the effects of climate change:

The National Geographic documentary “Before the Flood”, directed by Fisher Stevens, is a perfect film if you are wanting to learn more about the effects of climate change. In this day and age, information can be easily misconstrued or biased, so this documentary is a great way to set the record straight for yourself and truly understand the potential effects that climate change can have on not only the environment but society as a whole. This documentary portrays renowned actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, as a narrator, as he uses his platform to spread awareness of the climate crisis and possible solutions. The documentary features DiCaprio on a global journey to five different continents in order to see the effects of climate change for himself. Whilst on this journey, DiCaprio meets with activists, politicians and scientists to fight against inaction concerning climate change as well as misinformation. This documentary is perfect for someone who wishes to learn more as it doesn’t just provide you with hard facts, it also provides you with ways you can take action now.

3) A film for if you want to learn more about the preservation of our marine life:

Not too long ago, BioEnviro were guests at a free screening of “Blue” the film provided by Visionary Mermaids, as a part of their ‘Sharks are Friends, not Food!’ campaign. “Blue” is the perfect documentary for the latest and upcoming generations to see in order to truly understand the impacts that industrialisation has had on the ocean, concerning industrial-scale fishing, destruction of marine habitats, ocean pollution, and in turn, the loss of marine species. This documentary spanned four countries and their surrounding seas, focusing on specific issues concerning the oceans’ livelihood, the destruction it is causing and how to stop and eventually repair the damages. Although this documentary may be quite distressing at times, the documentary highlights that now is a critical moment as over half of all marine life has been lost. As this documentary is quite eye-opening, it encourages us to make small changes in our lives that could make a big difference in the long run.

3)A film for if you are wondering about the effects of ocean pollution:

What began as a search for the elusive blue whale, ended up as an exploration of the fragile state of the oceans caused by our overreliance on plastic. The journey covers more than 20 locations around the world, and in addition to showing the tragic situation in the water, the director also handles the many complementary reactions in a very simple and accurate way. The documentary “A Plastic Ocean”, is an excellent film if you are wondering about the effects of ocean pollution as it conveys the environmental message and important awareness to audiences that plastic affects not only organisms in the ocean but also those that benefit from the ocean on land. The eye-opening part of the documentary was the scientists showing how small plastic particles float on the surface of the ocean as well as on the bottom of the ocean. Although ocean pollution is caused by humans, we are no exception, as some people are suffering from illness or have to adapt to living near dumps due to economic conditions. Overall, this movie is a great eye opener and is worth the time to view.

5)A film for if you are concerned with consumerism and fast fashion:

“Minimalism: A documentary about the important things” is a great film to watch if you are concerned with consumerism and fast fashion. The documentary directed by Matt Davila follows several people living a more minimalist lifestyle and details the benefits of an immaterial or minimalist way of life. The film aims to educate and spread awareness about how much pollution and unnecessary “things” are in the world today. Despite the fact that many people choose to be ignorant about the real harms of a maximalist and emulated lifestyle, there are true and detrimental harms behind things as simple as purchasing your next pair of jeans. Many forms of fast fashion and trendy items are sourced unsustainably and produced unethically. This is the perfect film to see life through the eyes of a minimalist and what it looks like to think about your purchases.

6)A film for if you’re concerned about the effects consumerism may have on slavery and human trafficking:

Today, one in ten children works in the global economy. These children often miss out on school opportunities and have some of the highest illiteracy rates in the world. The victims are between the ages of 5 and 17, and nearly half of them (72 million) are forced to work in hazardous jobs and unhygienic conditions. Slavery, human trafficking, prostitution and activities that directly harm the physical, mental and moral well-being of children are considered “the worst forms of child labour”. The documentary “Stand With Sanju” is an eye-opening film when it comes to the effects of consumerism as it allows Sanju herself to tell her story of child servitude and being trafficked. Child slavery is a crime that affects 152 million children around the world and, like Sanju, are forced to forfeit their youth and education. The campaign Stand with Sanju shows how consumer purchasing power may help to abolish child enslavement in the carpet industry.