Below are some listings of useful documentaries for self-education and community awareness raising. Some of these, along with many others, are also available online at Films for Action. Start exploring!
After World War II North Americans invested much of their newfound wealth in suburbia. Suburbia, and all it promises, has become the American Dream.
But as we enter the 21st century, serious questions are emerging about the sustainability of this way of life. With brutal honesty and a touch of irony, The End of Suburbia explores the American Way of Life and its prospects as the planet approaches a critical era, as global demand for fossil fuels begins to outstrip supply. World Oil Peak and the inevitable decline of fossil fuels are upon us now, scientists and policy makers argue in this documentary. The consequences of inaction in the face of this global crisis are enormous. What does Oil Peak mean for North America? As energy prices skyrocket in the coming years, how will the people of suburbia react to the collapse of their dream? Are today’s suburbs destined to become the slums of tomorrow? And what can be done NOW, individually and collectively, to deal with The End of Suburbia?
Hosted by Barrie Zwicker. Featuring James Howard Kunstler, Richard Heinberg, Peter Calthorpe, Michael Klare, Matthew Simmons, Michael C. Ruppert, Julian Darley, Colin Campbell, Kenneth Deffeyes, Ali Samsam Bakhtiari and Steve Andrews. Directed by Gregory Greene. Produced by Barry Silverthorn. Duration: 78 minutes.
In ESCAPE From SUBURBIA director Greg Greene once again takes us “through the looking glass” on a journey of discovery – a sobering yet vital and ultimately positive exploration of what the second half of the Oil Age has in store for us. Through personal stories and interviews we examine how declining world oil production has already begun to affect modern life in North America. Expert scientific opinion is balanced with “on the street” portraits from an emerging global movement of citizen’s groups who are confronting the challenges of Peak Oil in extraordinary ways. ESCAPE From SUBURBIA asks the tough questions: Are we approaching Peak Oil now? What are the controversies surrounding our future energy options? Why are a growing number of specialists and citizens skeptical of these options? What are ordinary people across North America doing in their own communities to prepare for Peak Oil? And what will YOU do as energy prices skyrocket and the Oil Age draws to a close?
The documentary, “The Power of Community – How Cuba Survived Peak Oil,” was inspired when Faith Morgan and Pat Murphy took a trip to Cuba through Global Exchange in August, 2003. During their first trip to Cuba, in the summer of 2003, they traveled from Havana to Trinidad and through several other towns on their way back to Havana. They found what Cubans call “The Special Period” astounding and Cuban’s responses very moving. Faith found herself wanting to document on film Cuba’s successes so that what they had done wouldn’t be lost. Both of them wanted to learn more about Cuba’s transition from large farms or plantations and reliance on fossil-fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers, to small organic farms and urban gardens. Cuba was undergoing a transition from a highly industrial society to a sustainable one. Cuba became, for them, a living example of how a country can successfully traverse what we all will have to deal with sooner or later, the reduction and loss of finite fossil fuel resources. In the fall of 2003 Pat and Faith had the opportunity to return to Cuba to study its agriculture. It was a wonderful trip. They saw much of the island, met many farmers and urban gardeners, scientists and engineers – traveling more than 1700 miles, from one end of Cuba to the other. It was all they had hoped for and more. The goals of this film are to give hope to the developed world as it wakes up to the consequences of being hooked on oil, and to lift American’s prejudice of Cuba by showing the Cuban people as they are. The filmmakers do this by having the people tell their story on film. It’s a story of their dedication to independence and triumph over adversity, and a story of cooperation and hope. Several Cubans expressed the belief that living on an island, with its natural boundaries, breeds awareness that there are limits to natural resources.
For more information about this film and for resouces on holding a screening, please visit www.powerofcommunity.org/.
THE FUTURE OF FOOD offers an in-depth investigation into the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled U.S. grocery store shelves for the past decade.
From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico, this film gives a voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why many people are alarmed by the introduction of genetically altered crops into our food supply.
Shot on location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, THE FUTURE OF FOOD examines the complex web of market and political forces that are changing what we eat as huge multinational corporations seek to control the world’s food system. The film also explores alternatives to large-scale industrial agriculture, placing organic and sustainable agriculture as real solutions to the farm crisis today.
For more information about this film and for resouces on holding a screening, please visit www.thefutureoffood.com.
“What Will We Eat?: The Search for Healthy Local Food” (26:00) tells the story of the growing failure of the industrial food system and how a grassroots coalition of small farmers and consumers is inventing a healthy, humane, homegrown alternative. Filmed primarily in West Michigan, “What Will We Eat?” focuses on the success of the Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon – Michigan’s first farmers market to exclusively sell local produce raised according to organic standards and products from animals raised humanely. The story is told through the voices and experiences of small farmers and their customers. “What Will We Eat?” features John Ikerd, Fred Kirschenmann, Michael Hamm and John Biernbaum of MSU plus the voices of local West Michigan farmers and consumers working to build a new, revolutionary food system. Shown at the East Lansing, Muskegon, and Saugatuck Film Festivals in 2006. Reviewed by New Farm Magazine. This film is designed to shown in classrooms and public forums to begin a conversation about growing a healthy, humane, homegrown food system that lowers healthcare costs, promote economic development, and builds community.
For more information about this film, or to purchase the DVD/VHS, visit www.localharvest.org.
Over nine months, Mischa Hedges and Digital Sense Productions traveled the west coast to learn more about our food system. During production, he found that the standard methods of producing food do not take environmental or human health costs into consideration. He also explored the many alternatives to the current agricultural system. Sustainable Table includes interviews with: Howard Lyman: Author of “Mad Cowboy”,
Kenneth Williams: Champion Vegan Bodybuilder, Fred Kirschenmann, PhD: Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Marc Grossman: Spokesman for United Farm Workers, Actors/activists Ed Begley Jr., James Cromwell and many more. Digital Sense worked with individuals representing The Sierra Club, P.E.T.A., The University of California at Davis, Organic Valley Dairy Farms, Chapman University and many others while producing this film. The result is a documentary that takes an unadulterated look into the food you eat.
FOOD FOR THE FUTURE tells the story of the founding of the pioneering Floyd Boulevard Local Foods Market – the first farmers market in the nation to exclusively sell humanely raised animal products and organic/chemical free produce. This 12 minute film is designed to help consumers and farmers advocate for what Fred Kirschenmann calls “Local plus” food systems — local food systems built around higher values of humane treatment of animals and respect for nature’s rules and processes (organic/chemical-free). “This film is perfect for classes and meetings to begin the discuss around local, values added food,” says Chef Kurt Friese, Slow Food USA. The video was produced by Chris Bedford, an award winning advocacy filmmaker. Chris Bedford makes films and videos designed to help communities build a sustainable economy — beginning with a local, healthy food system. Visit his website at www.chrisbedfordfilms.com for more information.
For more information about this film, or to purchase the DVD/VHS, visit www.localharvest.org.
Sweet Soil shares the stories of four family farms, a natural foods store committed to supporting them and a community’s passion for fresh, local food. Set to a toe-tapping, fiddle-driven soundtrack by local musicians, Sweet Soil captures the spectacular autumnal beauty of the Berkshire Hills at harvest time. The farms profiled are: Equinox Farm, a pioneer in the salad greens business; Rawson Brook Farm, a goat dairy producing Monterey Chevre for over 20 years; Thompson-Finch Farm, a farm growing diversified vegetable crops and pick-your-own fruits; and High Lawn Farm, one of the last dairy farms in the state to produce, bottle, and distribute milk under one roof. Film by Wild Hayer Productions.
For more information about this film, or to purchase the DVD, visit www.localharvest.org.
The Corporation explores the nature and spectacular rise of the dominant institution of our time. Footage from pop culture, advertising, TV news, and corporate propaganda, illuminates the corporation’s grip on our lives. Taking its legal status as a “person” to its logical conclusion, the film puts the corporation on the psychiatrist’s couch to ask “What kind of person is it?” Provoking, witty, sweepingly informative, The Corporation includes forty interviews with corporate insiders and critics – including Milton Friedman, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, and Michael Moore – plus true confessions, case studies and strategies for change. Winner of 24 INTERNATIONAL AWARDS, 10 of them AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARDS including the AUDIENCE AWARD for DOCUMENTARY in WORLD CINEMA at the 2004 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. The film is based on the book The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power by Joel Bakan.
For more information about this film and for resources on holding a screening, please visit www.thecorporation.com.
A timely examination of human values and the health issues that affect us all, ¡Salud!looks at the curious case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country with what the BBC calls ‘one of the world’s best health systems.’ From the shores of Africa to the Americas, !Salud!hits the road with some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals serving in 68 countries, and explores the hearts and minds of international medical students in Cuba — now numbering 30,000, including nearly 100 from the USA. Their stories plus testimony from experts around the world bring home the competing agendas that mark the battle for global health—and the complex realities confronting the movement to make healthcare everyone’s birth right.
For more information about this film and for resources on holding a screening, please visit www.saludthefilm.net.
“A middle class white guy comes to grips with Peak Oil, Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Population Overshoot and the demise of the American Lifestyle. ” Featuring interviews with Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen, Jerry Mander, Chellis Glendinning, Richard Heinberg, Thomas Berry, William Catton, Ran Prieur and Richard Manning, What a Way to Go looks at the current global situation and asks the most important questions of all:
* How did we get here?
* Why do we keep destroying the planet?
* What do we truly want?
* Can we find a vision that will empower us to do what is necessary to survive, and even thrive, in the coming decades?
For more information about this film and for resources (press releases, posters, post-discussion suggestions, etc) on holding a screening, please visit www.whatawaytogomovie.com .
Read reviews and discuss the film in the forums.
The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop is an 81-minute feature film which follows award-winning journalists and married couple, Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes, as they travel 13,000 miles across America.
Traveling by secondary highways and country roads, and only doing business with Mom & Pop, the couple finds a nation at loggerheads with the free market it so proudly mastered.
From bitter battles with corporate America to revitalized Main Streets, Hanson and Heather find a truly Independent America.
For more information about this film, to purchase the DVD, or to list your screening, please visit www.independentamerica.net.
After assessing today’s dwindling oil reserves and skyrocketing use of oil for fuels, plastics and chemicals, “The Oil Factor” questions the motives for the U.S. wars in the Middle-East and Central Asia where 3/4 of the world’s oil and natural gas is located. With exclusive footage shot on location in Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the film documents the spiraling violence now engulfing both Iraq and Afghanistan, a country conspicuously absent from the commercial media’s news segments. With detailed maps and graphics, The Oil Factor features many experts and personalities such as former Defense Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, M.I.T. professor Noam Chomsky, the Project for the New American Century Executive Director Gary Schmitt, Coalition Provisional Authority Chairman Paul Bremer, former Pentagon analyst Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, current Iraqi government official Abdel Aziz Al-Hakim and authors Ahmed Rashid and Michael C. Ruppert. Contributing organizations include the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Greenpeace, the Pentagon, Washington’s Institute for Policy Studies, New York’s World Policy Institute, London’s Jane’s Intelligence and Petroleum Economist, Paris’ Agence France Press and Center for Energy Strategy Studies (C.E.P.S.E.) or the Organization for Economic and Cooperative Development (O.E.C.D.)
For more information about this film, visit www.theoilfactor.com.
A 90 minute documentary on the planet’s dwindling oil resources. OilCrash, produced and directed by award-winning European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray McCormack, tells the story of how our civilization’s addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology. Compelling, intelligent, and highly entertaining, the film visits with the world’s top experts and comes to a startling, but logical conclusion – our industrial society, built on cheap and readily available oil, must be completely re-imagined and overhauled.
Crude Impact is an award-winning documentary film which Chris Vernon of TheOilDrum.com called ” a terrific film… the best documentary I have seen on the subject.” This feature film explores the interconnection between human domination of the planet, and the discovery and use of oil.
The objective of the film is to promote positive, hopeful change in the way we source and use energy. Changes that will create a more just and sustainable world. The film has received several awards and been recognized internationally. Crude Impact was an official selection of the prestigious International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam.
For more information about this film, view the trailer, or to purchase the DVD, visit www.crudeimpact.com.
As our global population and its appetite for energy rise drastically, resource depletion and global warming have become the most pressing issues facing humanity today. As fossil fuels power every facet of the American economy, how can we avoid an energy crisis and a possible collapse of our economy? In addition to increasing geopolitical conflicts, the process of extracting and using these crucial resources is endangering the very own habitat that we depend on to prosper as a species – pushing the earth’s climate and ecosystem to a point of no-return. It is clear that in order for us to survive our modern self-destructive societies, we will have to change course drastically and as fast as possible. Scientists and experts agree that the use of renewable energy such as solar and wind power, coupled with higher efficiency and conservation, will be key factors in preserving our quality of life and paving the way to a sustainable world for our children. Will America be up to the task as it consumes 25% of the world’s energy, 85% of which comes from non-renewable fossil fuels?
The movie exposes the problems associated with our energy consumption. It also offers concrete solutions for anybody that wants to educate himself or herself and be part of the solutions in this decisive era. The film features passionate individuals, entrepreneurs, experts and scientists at the forefront of their field bringing legitimacy and expertise to the core message of the piece.
For more information about this film, view the trailer, or to purchase the DVD, visit www.energyxroads.com.
SYNOPSIS – Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) stars as a man living alone in the devasted world of 2055, looking back at “archive” footage from 2007 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? The Age of Stupid is a 90-minute film about climate change, oil, war, politics, consumerism and human stupidity, set in the future (world premiere in London on March 15th 2009.
For more information about this film or view the trailer visit www.ageofstupid.net.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour” is a feature length documentary concerning the environmental crises caused by human actions and their impact on the planet. The 11th Hour documents the cumulative impact of these actions upon the planet’s life systems and calls for restorative action through a reshaping of human activity. It describes the last moment when change is possible. The film explores how humanity has arrived at this moment; how we live, how we impact the earth’s ecosystems, and what we can do to change our course. The film features dialogues with experts from all over the world, including former Soviet Prime Minister Mikhail Gorbachev, renowned scientist Stephen Hawking, former head of the CIA R. James Woolsey and sustainable design experts William McDonough and Bruce Mau in addition to over 50 leading scientists, thinkers and leaders who present the facts and discuss the most important issues that face our planet.
Director Davis Guggenheim eloquently weaves the science of global warming with Mr. Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. A longtime advocate for the environment, Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. “Al Gore strips his presentations of politics, laying out the facts for the audience to draw their own conclusions in a charming, funny and engaging style, and by the end has everyone on the edge of their seats, gripped by his haunting message,” said Guggenheim. An Inconvenient Truth is not a story of despair but rather a rallying cry to protect the one earth we all share. “It is now clear that we face a deepening global climate crisis that requires us to act boldly, quickly, and wisely,” said Gore. Written by Plantation Productions
The film investigates the events leading to the quiet destruction of thousands of new, radically efficient electric vehicles. Through interviews and narrative, the film paints a picture of an industrial culture whose aversion to change and reliance on oil may be deeper then its ability to embrace ready solutions. Who Killed the Electric Car? and Chris Paine were nominated by the Writer’s Guild for Best Documentary of 2006. The film also received nominations from The Broadcast Critics Awards and The Environmental Media Awards for Best Documentary of 2006. The film won the audience award at the Canberra International Film Festival and won a special jury prize at the Mountain Film Festival.
Film Website: www.whokilledtheelectriccar.com
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.
Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy.
Film website: http://www.freshthemovie.com