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Environment and Sustainability Videos


Addicted to Plastic (85 min) c2009
Addicted to Plastic is a film about solutions to plastic pollution. This documentary captures three years of filming in 12 countries on 5 continents, including two trips to the middle of the Pacific Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The film details plastic’s path over the last 100 years and provides a wealth of expert interviews on practical and cutting edge solutions to recycling, toxicity, and biodegradability. These solutions, which include plastic made from plants, will provide viewers with a hopeful perspective about our future with plastic. This documentary does not address the demand side of the proliferation of plastic and can seem long. Teachers may want to feature parts of the film. 

A Crude Awakening (90 min) c2006
This award winning documentary examines our dependence on oil, showing how oil is essential for almost every facet of our modern lifestyle, from driving to work to clothing and clean tap water. A Crude Awakening asks the tough question, “What happens when we run out of cheap oil?” Through expert interviews, the film spells out in startling detail the challenges we would face in dealing with the possibility of a world without cheap oil—a world in which it may ultimately take more energy to drill for oil than we can extract from the oil the wells produce.

DIRT! The Movie (79 min) c2009
DIRT! The Movie brings to life the environmental, economic, social, and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil. Made from the same elements as the stars, plants and animals, and us, “dirt is very much alive.” Though, in modern industrial pursuits and the clamor for profit and natural resources, our human connection to and respect for soil has been disrupted. Drought, climate change, even war, are all directly related to the way we are treating dirt. More than anything, the film tracks the decline in topsoil and is a call to action.

Flow: For Love of Water (93 min) c2008
This documentary investigates the world water crisis. Exploring the growing privatization of the world’s dwindling fresh water supply with an unflinching focus on politics, pollution, and human rights. Flow draws attention to the emergence of a domineering world water cartel. Interviews with scientists and activists reveal the rapidly building crisis, at both the global and human scale. The film introduces many of the governmental and corporate participants behind the water rush, while begging the question, “Can anyone really own water?” This film’s in-depth look at water makes apparent the link between issues of social and environmental justice.

Food, Inc. (94 min) c2008
Food, Inc. is a comprehensive documentary exploring the complexities of the industrial food model. This critical analysis of the corporatization of food explores the economic, environmental, social, and health implications of an increasingly centralized and homogenized food system. By looking closely at issues of genetic patenting, food-borne illness, pesticides, farm-worker rights, animal rights, food labelling, etc, Food, Inc. presents a thorough overview of where our food comes from and how it affects not only us as individuals, but also the environment and the rights and freedoms of others.

Educational resources available on the Food Inc. website.

Fresh (72 min) c2009
Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across North 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.

The Man Who Planted Trees (30 min) c1998
The Man Who Planted Trees is a short animated film about Elzeard Bouffier who, after his son and wife die, spends his life reforesting miles of barren land in southern France. Bouffier’s planting of thousands and thousands of trees results in many wondrous things occurring, including water again flowing in brooks that had been dry for many years. The brooks are fed by rain and snow that are conserved by the forest that Bouffier planted. The harsh, barren land is now pleasant and full of life.

The author of the book, Jean Giono, hoped that his tale would make people love trees, or more precisely, would make them love planting trees. Within a few years, the story swept around the world and was translated into at least a dozen languages. It has long since inspired reforestation efforts worldwide. The Man Who Planted Trees is not only a wonderful story; it will inspire you and your children to care for the natural world.

A teachers’ activity guide is available online. PDF file; Acrobat Reader required. 

Suzuki Speaks (45 min) c2004
Suzuki Speaks is an educational video about the essence of life. In this film, Suzuki delivers an important message about what it means to be fully human in our interconnected universe. The film’s stunning motion graphics weave a tapestry that transforms Dr. Suzuki’s wisdom into a complete sensory experience, literally creating new worlds and new ways of seeing. Suzuki Speaks will leave you feeling renewed, challenged, and alive.

Vanishing of the Bees (87 min) c2009
Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, Vanishing of the Bees examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth.

What’s on Your Plate? (76 min) c2009
What’s on Your Plate? is a witty and provocative documentary about kids and food politics. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Through visits to local farms, fast-food restaurants, and landfills, the two friends address many complex questions about the food they eat and formulate sophisticated and compassionate opinions on the state of their society. In so doing, they inspire hope and active engagement in others.

White Water, Black Gold
This movie is a useful resource and may be purchased from White Gold Productions Inc. The accompanying study guide follows David Lavallee ( a North Vancouver teacher) on his three-year journey across Western Canada in search of the truth about the impact of the world’s thirstiest and dirtiest oil industry. This is a journey of jarring contrasts, from the pristine mountain ice fields that are the source of the industry’s water, to the Tar Sands tailing ponds, where thousands of migrating birds have unwittingly landed and died.

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