6 Shocking Films That Will Change How You Think About The Planet

Stunned by Blackfish? Then you need to watch these films...

When you’re sat down to watch a film on a Saturday night, the last thing you want to watch is an environmental documentary, right?

Forget boring wildlife footage of sloths in trees, narrated by a dull melancholy voice.

Imagine picking up a really good book and not being able to put it down. That’s exactly what these documentaries are like…

Imagine picking up a really good book and not being able to put it down. That’s exactly what these environmental documentaries are like.

From animals in captivity to the secrets behind what’s in your food, these documentaries are gripping and very revealing about the state of the planet in the 21st century.

Yes, we all have to remember these are documentaries – and they’re not without biased. But some of the issues opened up here are truly shocking….

Blackfish (2013)

If you haven’t yet seen Blackfish, you need to watch it. Right now.

It tells of the story of Tillikum, an orca who has been kept in captivity by Sea World in Orlando, Florida. He went on to attack and kill his trainer, Dawn Brancheau in 2010.

SeaWorld put it down to the animal accidentally grabbing Dawn’s pony tail and dragging her into the water. But what if it’s more than that?

If you were kept in a bathtub for 25 years, don’t you think you’d get a little psychotic?

Blackfish looks into the behaviour of whales in captivity and investigates whether SeaWorld has been covering things up to protect its profits.

The documentary questions whether they really educating us about marine life or are they just using these wild animals for entertainment and financial purposes.

It’s a truly eye-opening and distressing look into animals in captivity. It will truly make you never want to watch any sort of animal show again.

Since it’s release, SeaWorld has suffered huge blows. They lost $15.9 million in 2014, visitor numbers were down significantly and their chief executive James Atchison resigned.

Watch Blackfish on iTunes here

Chasing Ice (2012)

Environmental photographer James Balog was a climate change sceptic before he started studying the melting of ice for himself.

He set up the Extreme Ice Survey – positioning cameras above glaciers and ice fields all over the world and leaving them to create a time-lapse over three years.

I never imagined you could see glaciers this big disappearing in such a short amount of time

The results were astounding. These glaciers were melting at a breathtaking rate – and might never come back.

It’s a visually stunning documentary that will get your brain working over how quickly climate change is altering our planet – for the worse.

Watch Chasing Ice on Netflix or iTunes

The Cove (2009)

It’s no surprise this film won Best Documentary at the Oscars in 2010.

With the help of Ric O’Barry, former trainer of the famous dolphin Flipper, the makers of The Cove go undercover to reveal the dark truth behind Japan’s dolphin hunting practices.

“They said if the world finds out what’s going on here, we’ll be shut down…”

In Taiji, Wakayama, Japan, dolphins are being brutally slaughtered and others captured to be shipped to entertainment parks across the globe.

Many people, include the Japanese population, didn’t realise what was occurring. There were many protests and attempts to block the documentary from being screened, particularly in Japan, after it was released.

It carries a powerful message that will linger with you long after the film is over.

Watch The Cove on Amazon or iTunes

Food, Inc. (2008)

“The way we eat has changed more in the past fifty years than the past 10,000…”says the narrator in Food, Inc. It’s not in a good way.

Food Inc. takes a look inside the American food industry to reveal what we’re really eating.

Remember the horse meat scandal in the UK a few years back? Well, this is like that – but a whole lot worse.

The industry doesn’t want you to know the truth about what you’re eating, because if you knew, you might not want to eat it…

From caged hens to cruel meat production to the shocking amount of corn used to feed America, this documentary will show you the side of food you did not want to see.

Not only does it show you what’s wrong with mass produced food, but it spins it on it’s head – and explains what you should do about it. A must-watch.

Watch Food Inc. on Netflix here

Mission Blue (2014)

I’d never heard of Sylvia Earle before this film. Now, she’s fast becoming my new hero.

Mission Blue tells Sylvia’s story, starting out as a young marine biologist in 1960s America.

She studied the ocean back when there were very few signs of human destruction. “No one at this time imagined we could do anything to harm it” she explains.

Just because you can’t see any changes to the surface of the sea, doesn’t mean it’s not happening underneath

In just 50 years, overfishing has killed off 90 per cent of the ocean’s top predators including sharks, bluefin tuna, swordfish, marlin, and king mackerel. Half the coral reefs in the world are dead.

Sylvia went on to dedicate her life to exploring the ocean – and now she’s determined to save them.

Watch this film and you’ll never look at the ocean in the same way again.

Watch Mission Blue on Netflix here

YERT (2011)

How do you make people sit up and listen about environmental issues? It’s something activists have struggled with for years. These guys think they’ve worked it out.

Two guys and one girl climbed into a hybrid truck and set off to visit 50 states in one year to discover what America is doing to save the environment.

Don’t live in denial. It ain’t just a river in Egypt…

From climate change to toxic pollution to water scarcity, they talk to local farmers, wind farm owners, electric car manufacturers to see if it’s viable to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Oh, and YERT stands for Your Environmental Road Trip – and that’s exactly what this film is. A seriously epic road trip.

Watch Yert on their website here


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