Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day Required Viewing List

A list of must-see, environmentally-conscious movies for Earth Day.
In no particular order:

1. Koyaanisqatsi
A study of the world told entirely through images and haunting music by Philip Glass. This movie manages to make you view humanity as something eerily unnatural.

2. Princess Mononoke
A brilliant fantasy film by the genius, Hayao Miyazaki. A warning of the dangers that arise when the arrogance of mankind infringes on the precious balance of nature.

3. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Another classic by Miyazaki. This film explores a world struggling to survive amidst the environmental devastation left behind by previous generations.

4. The Road Warrior
Thanks to the current administration's efforts, we are now closer than ever to this post-apocalyptic world in which petroleum is fought over in the desert by warring gangs.

5. The Lorax
I wore out the betamax tape of this when I was younger. I bought the book for my niece last Christmas. This is perhaps the best eco-parable ever told. And the soundtrack is great.

6. Planet Earth
Not only is this one of the most incredible nature documentary series ever made, with gorgeous images of rarely seen animals and locales, but Planet Earth also contains numerous warnings of human civilization's negative impact on the environment.
None is more tragic than the fate of this polar bear. Weakened, and dangerously underweight after having to swim miles over open water in search of food, the polar bear makes a desperate move:

Shorty after this clip, the polar bear dies from injuries sustained during the futile battle. The reason the polar bear was forced into this situation in the first place is the real tragedy. Due to global warming, the arctic circle is melting earlier and earlier during the year, erasing the precious time these animals need to hunt food in their natural environment.
I've heard several reports about the future of polar bears. The general consensus is that they will be extinct within the next century.

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