13 must-see environmental documentaries


From global warming to plastic pollution to mass farming, here is a list of 13 documentaries that are worth seeing (or seeing again!). We have tried to focus on documentaries that show the truth, but are still full of beauty and hope. A rollercoaster of emotions that will leave you with a fierce desire to protect our planet.





1. Our planet

This powerful documentary series consists of 8 episodes narrated by David Attenborough. The images are breathtaking and beautiful: we rediscover the forests and oceans at their best. What we call home is a planet of different ecosystems, each more beautiful and fascinating than the other. We, humans, are finally only a small part of it. Unfortunately, we are acting like a predator and threatening this precious balance. What the documentary tells us is that nature may one day fight back and take back what is hers. She doesn't need us, but we need her.



2. Life on our planet



A biographical film format here, where David Attenborough (again! am I a fan? yes, totally) recounts his career memories. Over the years he has witnessed the evolution and destruction of nature. How we eat, how we consume, how we travel: the way we live as humans is destroying what we consider to be our home. If at any point the film makes you uncomfortable, it is probably because the truth is often disturbing. But the world-renowned naturalist also shares his vision for the future, and for future generations. The documentary ends on a very positive note, with concrete ways in which we can all start to change things.



3. An ocean of plastic



This documentary by Craig Leeson sheds light on marine ecosystems. We discover the consequences of our modern civilisation. We all know that plastic is a problem, but do we really understand how serious it is? In this moving documentary, we see the interconnection between our plastic consumption and the health of our planet.



4. Minimalism

The most pressing problems facing our planet stem from our excessive lifestyle. We consume and waste too much. Minimalism is a documentary that explores the concept of minimalism, and how having less can lead to a more balanced life. Watching this documentary could lead to a serious de-cluttering of your home!




5. Cowspiracy

This documentary, which was brought to life through crowdfunding in 2014, focuses on the meat industry. Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn explore the ravages of animal agriculture on the environment. While some of their claims have been disputed, it remains clear to us that the meat industry plays a major role in deforestation, water pollution and global warming.




6. Seaspiracy

"The oceans will be emptied of fish in the next 27 years". Produced by Kip Andersen and directed by Ali Tabrizi, this documentary explores the different effects of industrial fishing on our ecosystem. Plastic pollution, overfishing, animal slaughter, modern-day slavery... you'll see just how complex the problem is. If you are not ready to go vegan yet, this documentary will make you reconsider what you put on your plate.




7. My octopus teacher

It may seem surprising to mention this film here, but I think it deserves a place. My Octopus Teacher is a touching (true) story of a friendship between Craig Foster and an octopus. By showing how intelligent and sensitive this cephalopod is, one cannot help but want to learn more about marine life, and ultimately protect it.


8. A Brave Blue World

I have access to clean water from the tap. This is a privilege and I am aware of it. So many people on earth do not have access to safe or drinkable water. Many still don't have access to water at all. This documentary by Water.org (the organisation co-founded by Matt Damon) addresses the issues of water scarcity, water safety and explores solutions for sustainable water management.


9. Kiss the Ground: Regenerative Agriculture

The solution could be right under our feet. When we talk about ecology, we often talk about air or ocean pollution. This documentary wants to show that the soil could actually be our best way to improve things. It presents ideas on how to implement better farming practices through regenerative agriculture.




10. Chasing Coral - Climate in Peril



Living corals are bright and colourful. They are tiny but essential. Behind their beauty, they are also the guardians of our oceans' biodiversity. They protect marine life, and they protect our shores. This documentary explores the rapidly spreading phenomenon of coral bleaching. A must-see before your next trip to the sea.




11. There's something in the water

If you've never heard of environmental racism, this documentary is a must-see. Directed by Elliot Page and Ian Daniel, it highlights the toxic industrial practices and government inaction that primarily affect poor communities. The documentary focuses on North American lands, but you can guess that these kinds of problems exist on a global scale.




12. Tomorrow

Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent's documentary is inspiring. They travelled the globe with their team to discover the best solutions and initiatives to our most pressing environmental and social problems. They meet people and entrepreneurs who are fighting to make things better. They offer a positive look at our future. 




13. 2040

I will end with the most optimistic and playful film on this list. 2040 is a hopeful documentary. Australian Damon Gamon wonders what 2040 will look like for his daughter. Similar to Tomorrow just above, he travels the world in search of the best solutions that exist already and gives us a vision of what the world could be like if we started using them on a large scale. The solutions for a better future already exist, they are there!



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