The world we live in is vast and beautiful, filled with places and sights that can quite literally take our breath away. In celebration of Earth Day, which takes place this Sunday, April 22nd, Fandor have put together a collection of some environmentally and globally focused programmes and documentaries for people to watch if they want to see and learn more about this wondrous planet we all share. For those readers in the US, all the programmes below can be streamed via Fandor, which until April 30th, is half price and costs just $5 a month or a fantastic $45/year for new subscribers.
Great Wide Open
This five-part documentary series, directed by Fandor’s Chief Creative Officer Jared Leto, sees the Oscar-winning actor and musician focus his attention on some of America’s most beautiful National Parks, which he explores with some of the best known and inspirational adventurers who have explored them. Episode 1, titled ‘The Conquistador’, sees the star and American climber Tommy Caldwell belay together at Taft Point in Yosemite, episode 2, ‘The Dirtbag’, features landscape artist, expedition climber and award winning film-maker Renan Ozturk who joins Leto to explore Yosemite Park, and episode 3, ‘The Rockstar’, stars Alex Honnold and includes a hike across Matthes Crest and a night climb up Cathedral Peak. Episode 4, titled ‘The Wolfman’, features Yellowstone Park and Douglas Smith and Episode 5, ‘Independence Day’, sees Leto celebrate the 4th of July with Sasha DiGiulian at Devil’s Tower.
Queen Of The Sun: What Are The Bees Telling Us?
Over recent years, bee numbers around the world have continued to fall, and this Taggart Seigel directed, 2010 film takes viewers on a journey through an exploration of the impact the disappearance of bees has and continues to have on our world. It also looks at the mysteries and complexities of bee-hives, and tells the story of how scientists, bee keepers and philosophers, all of whom have struggled with the declining bee numbers, are working to make things better again.
No Impact Man
Conducting research for his next book, author Colin Beavan began the No Impact Project in November 2006. This documentary, directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein, sees the newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, no longer able to avoid pointing the finger at himself, leave behind his liberal complacency for a vow to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. No more automated transportation, no more electricity, no more non-local food, no more material consumption, no problem. That is, until his espresso-guzzling, retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. An eye-opening look into the impact just one individual can – and does – make on the Earth in a year, NMI, an official selection of the Sundance, Silverdocs and LA Film Festivals in 2009, also highlights the highs and lows that can come with making such a drastic lifestyle change.
The Pearl Button
The ocean contains the history of all humanity; the good and the bad. The sea holds the voices of the Earth and those that come from outer space. Water receives impetus from the stars and transmits it to living creatures, ourselves included. Water, the longest border in Chile, also holds the secret of a mysterious button that was discovered in its seabed. Chile, with its 2,670 miles of coastline, the largest archipelago in the world, presents a supernatural landscape. In it are volcanoes, mountains and glaciers. In it are the voices of the Patagonian indigenous people, of the first English sailors and also those of its political prisoners. Some say that water has memory. While water may not speak like we do, this 2015 film, directed by Patricio Guzman, shows that it does have a voice.
The story of a young cub and an adult grizzly as they join forces to survive the perils inherent in their mountain habitat, this 1988 feature from Jean-Jacques Annaud, sees the two bears further develop a bond that can only make them stronger, with their friendship being put to the test as they must work together to overcome a deadly enemy.
Ever wondered what might or will happen to the Earth when you or I are no longer here? Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s 2016 film asks this question and many others, as it, and he, explore the finiteness and fragility of human existence and the end of the industrial age. Many of us might think about the future, but this work showcases those thoughts from an entirely different, life-changing potential future viewpoint.
Portrait Of A Garden
Captured over one year, POAG, directed by Rose Stapel, tells the story of two friends, an 85-year old pruning master and the gardener and addresses their own concerns about the ever changing landscape and world around them, and how it will affect the beautiful space before them. A documentary that can and will likely make anyone who loves the outdoors, even just being in their own garden, think about how it may look a few months or years from now, it’s a beautifully shot and beautiful to watch piece of work.
If A Tree Falls: A Story Of The Earth Liberation Front
Directed by Sam Cullman and Marshall Curry and focusing on and addressing the events of December 7th 2005, when federal agents conducted a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front, an organization the FBI has called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”, If A Tree Falls tells the remarkable but true story of the group’s rise and fall, as told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan. Mixing a coming-of-age-tale with cops-and-robbers style thriller, the Sundance 2011 award-winning and 2012 Oscar-nominated film interweaves a chronicle of McGowan facing life in prison with a dramatic investigation of the events that led to his involvement with the ELF. Using never-before-seen archival footage and intimate interviews with cell members and individuals involved in prosecuting them and the group, it’s a hard-hitting, eye-opening piece of work that asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism and the way we define terrorism.
Fandor are also marking Earth Day this Sunday with an Earth Day Everyday movie list, which you can check out here. Whatever you get up to this Earth Day, enjoy it and be sure to take a moment to appreciate the great, wide and beautiful world we live in. Header photo image taken from opelikaobserver.com.