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To please your leisure, we haven’t chosen films that carry the “eco-conscious” word in their synopsis. We already have a good article on that. Just as on a day-to-day basis, we must look beyond what is written and for sale. We think you prefer to nurture yourself with the culture you pursue and embrace, not buy it. For your next cinema session, we recommend you analyse these films and discover their true green cut.
Villeneuve, D. (Director). (2021). Dune [Film]. Legendary Pictures; Villeneuve Films; Warner Bros. Pictures
Looking to feel a deep mystery and fill your mind with questions far from our daily lives? Then this is your movie! Its daring and fanciful script will bring you closer to your inner critical spirit. Dune has returned to the screens and consciences of today. Zendaya and Timothée Chalamet star this fiction that seems inspired by reality. Despite being based on Frank Herbert's 1965 novel, its success extends to our days. The way it represents our current culture will move you.
In general, it wages a strong political dispute over control of a resource on which the entire economy depends. The author confirmed that it is a parallelism with oil on our planet. Religion also has a role almost by itself, being a threat to political power. In addition, sustainability is a fundamental problem that cuts across all the others.
The fact that a natural resource is the real protagonist of this story, and the fact that the entire plot is developed based on it, is the definitive reason to consider the film a benchmark for eco-conscious cinema.
DON’T LOOK UP
McKay, A.; Sirota, D. (Directors). (2021). Don’t look up [Film]. Hyperobject Industries; Bluegrass Films
Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio flawlessly star in this sci-fi satire. Noteworthy are the performances of Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep, who represent two of the powers that dominate our system.
This is a movie for those who feel like laughing out loud at those in power who keep us fooled. Humor is considered by many to be a strong weapon. Not only because it’s healthy, but because it takes all seriousness away from those who need it as a cover to hide their ridiculous lies.
The plot is about two astronomers who warn about a meteorite that is approaching Earth and will destroy the planet eventually. To clarify, it is a parallelism with climate change but, above all, with the reaction to it. It is a great criticism of the government, social networks, fake news, elite journalism, and the priorities of our society. Overall, an eco-conscious cinema piece that has impacted the young generations.
Joy, L. (Director). (2021). Reminiscence [Film]. FilmNation Entertainment, Kilter Films, Michael De Luca Productions
Due to climate change, it is set in a flooded dystopian Miami. Under these circumstances, it narrates a romance between the protagonists, played by Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson. The distinctive point is that to culminate the love story, he uses a machine capable of reading people's memories.
It helps us to unite the excessive technological advance with climate change and its effects. We appreciate the proposals on new relationships that we have not seen before between climate change and other areas. Eco-conscious cinema is also about refreshing our ideas to realize any changes we need to make.
Von Horn, M. (Director). (2020). Sweat [Film]. Lava Film, Zentropa, Film i Väst
Being aware of the success of social media and new influencers is key to fully understanding our era. The information comes to us from people from all over the world, and many times we do not check its veracity.
We recommend this film to understand the other side of the situation. The influencer’s version is essential to maintain our critical spirit. In the end, it shows influencers as they are: people like us under the same pressures. We cannot accuse them of manipulation or bad influence when they are also suffering these practices from more powerful groups. To improve our green actions, we must choose the right influencers who talk about it. We shall start with understanding them with this eco-conscious cinema example.
Looking for the second part of our previous article on movies about climate change? Here you have it, our recommendations on eco-conscious cinema that deals with this topic.
LIFE OF PI
Lee, A. (Director). (2012). Life of Pi [Film]. Fox 2000 Pictures, Haishang Films
For those looking for an immersive experience, we recommend the one and only Life of Pi. Not only the director offers impressionist coloring and fantasy, but also the final message is metonymic of the impressionist essence. The unique and unrepeatable moment brings with it unexpected consequences.
Suraj Sharma plays Pi, a boy who is involved in an adventure that challenges the morals built within his family. All the context we can give is that he has to survive a shipwreck with only a dangerous tiger for company.
It is definitely the most tender, wild, and humble message that a movie can give. Chillingly intense due to the sensitivity of writer Yann Martel, it forces you to recognize your wild side through empathy. Due to its connection with nature and the director's admiration for life, this film turns the world into an eco-conscious cinema star.
THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND
Ejiofor, C. (Director). (2019). The boy who harnessed the wind [Film]. Participant Media
Continuing with the thread of natural resources, what better way to become fully aware of them than this film? Maxwell Simba plays William Kamkwamba, a 13-year-old boy from a Malawi village. The story begins at the moment when the unsustainable economic situation coincides with brutal inclement weather. Families that had their future perfectly planned are thrown into a desperate and uncertain situation. We will see how the community, the government, and the agents involved react.
It is a glimpse of how we came to be unaware of what we depend on: the weather. Agriculture is the stage for this story: the film makes us conscious of the importance we should give the weather. Coupled with climate dependency and the primary sector, the hero of the story is, as its protagonist humbly repeats, education. The possibility of going to school was, according to the boy who harnessed the wind, the bridge to salvation.
Clements, R. , Musker, J. (Directors). (2016). Moana [Film]. Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios
Let’s not forget the tiniest ones at home! We have praised education in this article, as well as admiration for nature and the community's contribution to the environment. To practice a green education, we recommend introducing the little ones to this wonderful movie.
It stars for the first time a Polynesian princess and explains to us the origin of her attachment to the ocean. During the film we accompany her on an incredible mission related to nature. With songs and surprises, it brings an inspiring final message: the reconstruction of the environment depends on individual acts. Individual acts make the difference, and we all matter in this goal.
We hope to whet your appetite to see the sustainable implications of the films we know. Pedagogical art can bring us closer to the cultural structure we seek: inclusive, collaborative, and sustainable. Eco-conscious cinema represents the scenario in which we want to live!