Environmental issues in film and television

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Environmental issues have increasingly become a topic in film and television.

Within the last twenty years, commercially successful films with an environmentalism theme have been released theatrically and made by the major Hollywood studios. The Annual Environmental Media Awards have been presented by the Environmental Media Association (EMA) since 1991 to the best television episode or film with an environmental message.[1]

Some notable films with an environmental message include:[2]

List of non-fiction films[edit]

A non-fiction film is a film whose author(s), at the time of its production, believed its information to be true.

Title Theme(s) and subtheme(s) Author(s) Year(s)
The 11th Hour (film) Various themes Nadia Conners, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Leila Conners Petersen 2007
Ashes to Honey Nuclear power: radiation 2011
Baraka Various themes Constantine Nicholas and Genevieve Nicholas 1992
Bhopal Express Air pollution: from a pesticide factory Prasoon Pandey and Piyush Pandey 1999
Biùtiful cauntri Pollution: toxic waste dumping in Southern Italy 2007
Blue Vinyl Pollution: production and disposal of polyvinyl chloride Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand 2002
Burning the Future: Coal in America Mining: mountaintop removal mining David Novack and Richard Hankin 2008
The Burning Season (1994) Forests: Amazon rainforest William Mastrosimone 1994
The Burning Season (2008) Forests: deforestation in Indonesia Cathy Henkel 2008
Butterfly Environmentalism: resisting clearcutting 2000
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History Introduced species: cane toad Mark Lewis 1988
The Chances of the World Changing Endangered species: turtles 2006
Chernobyl Heart Chernobyl disaster: acute radiation syndrome 2003
Children of Tsunami: No More Tears Natural disasters: 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami 2005
The City Dark Light pollution 2011
Clouds of Smoke Global warming
The Cove Hunting: dolphin drive hunting Mark Monroe 2009
Crude (2007) Petroleum industry: peak oil and climate change Richard Smith 2007
Crude (2009) Petroleum industry: pollution and class action Joe Berlinger 2009
A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash Peak oil 2006
Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Petroleum industry: Exxon Valdez oil spill 1992
Deadly Deception: General Electric, Nuclear Weapons and Our Environment Energy: nuclear weapons 1991
A Delicate Balance – The Truth Diet: effects on health and the natural environment Adrianna Scheibner and Aaron Scheibner 2008
Dreamland Dams: Kárahnjúkar Hydropower Plant in Iceland 2009
Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11 Air pollution: from September 11 attacks 2006
Earth Environmental change: effects on three particular species Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield, and Leslie Megahey 2007
Earth Days Environmentalism: environmental movement in the United States Robert Stone 2009
Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson Hunting: anti-whaling 2011
Elemental Water pollution: Ganges River 2012
The End of Eden Environmental degradation: cattle ranching Rick Lomba 1986
Flow: For Love of Water Water privatization: big business and the natural environment 2008
Food, Inc. Agriculture: corporate farming 2009
Forbidden Forest (film) Forests: sustainable forest management 2004
Forests for the 21st Century Forests: reforestation 2009
The Forgotten District Forests: ecotourism in Belize 2008
The Fourth Revolution: Energy Energy: renewable energy Carl-A. Fechner 2010
The Future of Food Agriculture: genetically modified food Deborah Koons Garcia 2004
Global Warming: The Signs and The Science Global warming 2005
The Great Global Warming Swindle Global warming: climate change denial 2007
The Great Warming Global warming: politics of global warming 2006
Hinterland Who's Who Wildlife Environment Canada Wildlife Service and the National Film Board of Canada 1960s, 1970s, 2000s
The Idiot Cycle Chemical industry: genetically modified organisms Emmanuelle Schick Garcia 2009
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Forests: eco-terrorism Marshall Curry and Matthew Hamacheck 2011
If You Love This Planet Energy: nuclear weapons 1982
An Inconvenient Truth Global warming Al Gore 2006
An Inconvenient Truth...Or Convenient Fiction? Global warming Steven F. Hayward 2007
Koyaanisqatsi Various themes 1982
The Last Paradises: On the Track of Rare Animals Endangered species Eugen Schuhmacher 1967
Millennium: Tribal Wisdom and the Modern World (series of videos) Various themes 1992
Minamata: The Victims and Their World Water pollution: mercury poisoning Noriaki Tsuchimoto 1971
Mountaintop Removal Mining: mountaintop removal mining 2007
No Impact Man Sustainability: sustainable living 2009
Oil on Ice Petroleum industry: Arctic Refuge drilling controversy Stephen Most 2004
Oil Sands Karaoke Petroleum industry: oil sands of Alberta 2013
On the Line Petroleum industry: Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Frank Wolf 2011
Pandora's Promise Nuclear power and climate change Robert Stone 2013
Polluting Paradise Waste management: in Turkey 2012
The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil Peak oil: anti-consumerism 2006
Powerful: Energy for Everyone Energy: renewable energy David Chernushenko 2010
The Redwoods Forests: protection of redwoods 1967
Renewal Environmentalism: environmental movement in the United States 2008
The Return of Navajo Boy Uranium mining in the United States 2000
Revenge of the Electric Car Sustainable design: electric cars Chris Paine and P.G. Morgan 2011
Revolution Various themes Rob Stewart 2012
Rokkasho Rhapsody Nuclear power: radiation 2006
Semper Fi: Always Faithful Water pollution: Camp Lejeune water contamination 2011
Sharkwater Endangered species: sharks Rob Stewart 2007
The Shiranui Sea Water pollution: mercury poisoning Noriaki Tsuchimoto 1975
Shored Up Weather: Hurricane Sandy: rising sea level 2013
Silent Storm Nuclear weapons testing: radioactive contamination Peter Butt 2003
Spoiled the Movie Energy: environmental impact of the energy industry, problems with alternative energy, etc. Kevin Miller 2011
The Story of Stuff Product lifecycle management: anti-consumerism Annie Leonard 2007
The Toxic Clouds of 9/11: A Looming Disaster Air pollution: from September 11 attacks 2006
Toxic Legacy Air pollution: from September 11 attacks 2006
Trash Inc: The Secret Life of Garbage Waste management: landfills 2010
Ultimate Tornado Tornadoes in the United States 2006
Unacceptable Levels Environmental toxicology Edward Brown 2013
Vanishing of the Bees Honey bees: colony collapse disorder Maryam Henein, George Langworthy, and James Erskine 2009
Vanishing Point Climate change: Arctic sea ice decline Marina Endicott and others 2012
Voices of Transition Agriculture: energy and resource scarcity Nils Aguilar 2012
Watch Forests: clearcutting Briana Waters 2001
Watermark Water Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky 2013
What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire Various themes: peak oil, climate change, overpopulation, and species extinction Timothy S. Bennett 2007
What Is the Electric Car? Sustainable design: electric cars 2010
White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: acute radiation syndrome Steven Okazaki 2007
Who Killed the Electric Car? Sustainable design: electric cars and roles of industries and governments Chris Paine 2006
Wind Over Water: The Cape Wind Story Energy: Cape Wind Ole Tangen Jr. 2003
Windfall Wind power: environmental impact of wind power 2010
The World According to Monsanto Agriculture: Monsanto Marie-Monique Robin 2008

List of fiction films[edit]

Some fiction films are based on true events.

Title Theme(s) and subtheme(s) Author(s) Year(s)
2012 Natural disasters: 2012 phenomenon Harald Kloser and Roland Emmerich 2009
The Age of Stupid Climate change Franny Armstrong 2009
Avatar Natural resources James Cameron 2009
Birdemic: Shock and Terror Global warming James Nguyen 2008
Captain Planet, Ted Turner's animated television series Various themes
The China Syndrome Energy: nuclear meltdown Mike Gray, T.S. Cook, and James Bridges 1979
A Civil Action Water pollution: by trichloroethylene Steven Zaillian 1998
The Day After Tomorrow Climate change Roland Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff 2004
Denmark Pollution: water pollution 2010
Earthquake Earthquake in Los Angeles George Fox and Mario Puzo 1974
Earthquake in Chile Earthquake in Chile Helma Sanders-Brahms 1975
Erin Brockovich Energy development: water pollution Susannah Grant 2000
FernGully: The Last Rainforest Forests: rainforests 1992
Fire Down Below Pollution: from mining 1997
Fly Away Home Wildlife: Canada Goose Bill Lishman, Robert Rodat, and Vince McKewin 1996
H2O Water supply: Kaveri River water dispute in India Upendra 2000
The Happening Toxicology M. Night Shyamalan 2008
Happy Feet Environment of Antarctica Warren Coleman, John Collee, George Miller, and Judy Morris 2006
Hell and High Water Atomic bomb explosion in the Cold War Jesse L. Lasky, Jr., Samuel Fuller, and David Hempstead 1954
An Inconvenient Penguin Invasive species 2008
The Lorax Forests Dr. Seuss 2012
Muro Ami Fishing: illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing Marilou Diaz-Abaya 1999
On Deadly Ground Pollution: from petroleum industry Ed Horowitz and Robin U. Russin 1994
Once Upon a Forest Forests 1993
Plastic Bag Plastic bags Ramin Bahrani and Jenni Jenkins 2009
Sharknado Severe weather and sharks Thunder Levin 2013
Sizzle Global warming Randy Olson 2009
Space Tourists Pollution: space debris 2002
Super Comet: After The Impact Impact event 2007
Tentacles Wildlife: gigantic octopus Steven W. Carabatsos, Tito Carpi, Jerome Max, and Sonia Molteni 1977
WALL-E Waste management 2008

Many anime movies by Hayao Miyazaki carry a hidden environmentalist message. The best-known is Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, but also well known is Pom Poko as well as Princess Mononoke, which is based on a conflict between technology and nature.

Television[edit]

Title Theme(s) and subtheme(s) Producer(s) Year(s)
Saving Britain's Past Cultural heritage Mary Sackville-West 2009
Years of Living Dangerously Climate change James Cameron, Jerry Weintraub and Arnold Schwarzenegger 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]