The Top 10 Eco Films of All Time

10. An Inconvenient Truth

Boring and unimaginative but undeniably massively influential. Teaching right-wing Americans science is a tough job… but someones gotta do it!

Buy An Inconvenient Truth [DVD] [2006]

9. The Day the Earth Stood Still

“If the Earth dies you die. If you die the Earth survives.” An alien visits earth dressed as Keanu Reeves and judges us for harming the species we share the planet with; so far so good. Unfortunately, retribution is inexplicably curtailed by gratuitous sentimentality by two of the offending species.

Buy The Day The Earth Stood Still

8. Sky Blue

This beautiful, post-apocalyptic Korean anime took 7 years to make.  It is 2142 and the planet’s atmosphere is destroyed. The elite minority live in high-tech city – Ecoban, served by the rest of humanity who toil beyond in the wasteland. The stage is set for some sexually-charged redistribution of wealth.

Buy Sky Blue [2003] [DVD]

7. The Age of Stupid

Bold, punchy, non-compromising and powerful, Pete Postlethwaite stars as the last human stranded on a ravaged planet in 2055. He has access to servers from now and whiles away his time pulling up pertinent footage and asking the question on everyone’s lips – why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance? This film is remarkable for how it was made and what it achieved. It was crowdfunded, pioneered a new distribution system, changed millions of minds and spawned the now global 10:10 climate campaign.

Buy The Age of Stupid [DVD]

6. Moon

Moon is weird, disturbing and brilliant. Sam Rockwell is stranded alone on a remote mining outpost clocking in to his corporate overlords when he starts really freaking out. He is not alone. The ecological theme is not explicit but director Duncan Jones (Zowie Bowie) shines a fierce light on corporate appropriation of the individual. His bigger-budget follow up (Source Code) wrestles with the same themes. Ingenious and thrilling and seriously makes you long to get back to the nourishing embrace of a living biosphere.

Buy Moon [DVD] [2009]

5. The End of the Line

If footage came out of hunters with giant machines going on safari and rounding up every living thing on the savannah – elephant, deer, hippos, lions, cheetah, warthogs and killing everything – we would be horrified and demand they stopped. Yet this is what happens every single day on our oceans. Giant, industrial fishing fleets are going out and killing EVERYTHING. Don’t sit placid in front of another hollywood film with a heterosexual white guy running around with a gun shooting people before winning some docile girl. You are better than that. Watch this instead. The Real Story is corporations killing the natural world. This film is your invitation to get mad. Don’t kid yourself that individually buying less fish will make any difference. We need to get organised and stop these boats, the corporations doing this sick shit and the governments pumping them tax dollars. The film ends on a remarkably positive note. This is one problem we know how to fix. Saving the oceans requires us to make a global network of marine protected areas. Properly policed this would cost about $15 billion a year and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. The global fishing industry is currently subsidised by exactly that amount. What we need is political pressure to shift the subsidies from extraction to preservation. The oceans are ours. The time is now. Lets do this!

Buy The End Of The Line [DVD] [2009]

4. Wall E

Imagine the early pitch to hollywood producers: “we are going to make a children’s film about a robot left alone to clear up earth after it has been ransacked by humans that have now grown so fat they sit in floating chairs on a spaceship plugged into digital devices .”  A lengthy pause might have been followed with the question: “how are you going to make that enjoyable” The answer is with beauty and grace.

Buy Wall-E [DVD] [2008]

3. Samsara

Spearheading a new genre of cinema called Planet Porn the makers of Baraka have raised the bar again with this extraordinary visual feast. If you need reminding our home planet is where it is at – this ones for you.

Buy Samsara (DVD)

2. The Cove

Yeah – it made me weep but not just because I love dolphins. It is clear humans will wreak havoc on the world in appalling and barbarous ways. Worst of all is institutionalised barbarism defended by bureaucrats. Slaughtering whales and dolphins is unpopular in Japan and the meat is dangerously high in mercury yet the government subsidises it and its partly funded by the ticket prices of animal lovers wanting a dolphin experience. A complex knot binds down the horror. This sort of madness and cruelty cannot be combatted with logic and reason. It takes the passionate intervention of determined people to create change in the world. This may be a totemic issue, not least because of the immense intelligence and sensitivity of our close cousins but we gain insight into other monstrous stupidities like European fisherman paid to toss fish overboard, the destruction of rainforest and the relentless acidification of oceans. One protagonist says “you are either an activist or you are inactive.” This film urges us to make a choice.

Buy The Cove [DVD] [2009]

1. Avatar

Cameron creates a remarkable and vast alien world in which we can study ourselves. His genius subversion was to make a US-marine-like army in the pay of extractive mining corporations the baddy and indigenous, tribal people, who connect to the living fabric of their world, the heroes. That the film was watched by billions worldwide is perhaps the greatest push yet received for Gaia-consciousness. Who could bear to see the mighty tree fall at the hands of the vicious and greedy, militarised corporate forces and who could fail to see the same thing happening on our world? Eco, short for ecology, is about the connection of living things, to each other and to the planet. The last wild places on our planet are about to get torn apart by the machine. Watching films is fine but the time has come to take action.

Buy Avatar [DVD]

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These are the top 10, must watch documentaries on environmental issues as selected by the EcoHustler team. The top films to watch had to address environmental issues in one way or another. Top science fiction films were considered where they offered a extra-terrestrial perspective on green issues. Many of these award winning films deal with climate change, global warming, species extinctions and other environmental and social challenges in inspiring ways.

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