Happy Earth Day! Hopefully today will find you enjoying the great outdoors with your family and participating in ways to help sustain life on our only planet. At the end of the day, though, lots of us love to kick back and enjoy a film. This Earth Day, make a difference with your movie watching by viewing a film with your family that can impact important environmental issues going on around the world.
You can register with Netflix for a 30 day trial to watch these films free! Then show your support for these great documentaries by selecting a 5-star rating to indicate that you love a film. Netflix has more documentaries than any other platform, and it uses its top rankings to not only recommend films, but also for to plan for future programming. Get your family and friends involved with a movie marathon and have them 5-star their favorites, so Netflix can keep providing viewers with hard-hitting documentaries on food, health, sustainability and the environment. Here are some great films to start with:
Food & Health
Producer Kristin Canty set out to find healthy food for her children and learns firsthand why this is so difficult. She discovers small, family farmers who were put out of business by bureaucracy and discovers why food freedom is so difficult and so important to fight for.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Joe Cross was 100 lbs. overweight, sick and on steroids. Follow Joe through this film as he reclaims his health and his body with a vow to only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice – and takes his camera and his blender on the road with him. Filming across America, Joe meets a morbidly obese Phil Staples and together they journey to wellness.
This award-winning film shows the development of U.S. agricultural policy and how California has led the fight against big agribusiness and for food freedom.
This film takes an in-depth look at the processing of meats and produce and the corporations behind that production. You’ll never look at meat the same again. This film was also nominated in 2010 for an Academy Award.
Food Matters / Hungry for Change
Hippocrates said, “Let thy Food be thy Medicine and thy Medicine be thy Food.” Filmmakers James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch interview experts, exploring the truth in this statement as they embark on a quest to heal Ray, diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression and Anxiety. These filmmakers have also created, “Hungry For Change,” exposing more secrets about the food industry.
Forks Over Knives
This film takes a serious look at disease and follows the journeys of 2 reseachers, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselsty, as they scrutinize the idea of food as medicine, following their patients and treating illnesses with a whole-foods, plant-based diet.
A look into the famous New Mexico chili pepper, and how New Mexico funded research to create a GMO version, in light of health hazards, safety concerns and corporation greed.
Best friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis take on midwestern corn farming on a one acre plot and film their experience. What they discover about moving their corn into food supply they discover the reality of price we pay for corn: cheap fast food and sick consumers.
One thing we know for sure about bottle water industry: it produces lots of plastic. But did you know that big name brands mine public water sources and then sell it for a huge profit? For a more in-depth look at the industry, its practices and its affect on health, pollution and climate, check out Stephanie Soechtig’s film.
Thinking about going vegan? Considering eliminating a major food from your diet? Vegucated is for you! This film follows 3 New Yorkers who attempt to go vegan for 6 weeks. Inspired by “Super Size Me,” these meat- and cheese-lovers discover “the hidden side of animal agriculture.”
An Inconvenient Truth
Al Gore’s 2006 film about global warming won 2 Academy Awards and was one of the top 10 grossing documentary films as of 2010. Stressing the human causation of rapidly increasing global warming, the film has received lots of support and criticism over the years. Judge for yourself.
If you live in Pennsylvania or Texas, you’ll know that fracking is an area of great concern. Gasland explores how fracking companies exploit poor towns that are located on gas-rich shale deposits.
Ever wonder where the dolphins for all those aquatic performance shows come from? “The Cove” reveals the unsettling details of covert dolphin hunting. Winner of the 2010 Oscar for Best Feature Documentary and 2009 Sundance Film Festival Award, this feature not to be missed.
In February, 2010, Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an orca named Tilikum in front of a packed audience during a show. In this 2013 documentary, director Gabriela Cowperthwaite investigates Tilikum’s history, and looks at Sea World’s questionable preparation of trainers and treatment of orcas.
Make a difference this Earth Day from the comfort of your living and get educated! What other must-see documentaries would you add to this list?