- Food Inc. – How industrial farming is making us sicker, fatter and poorer – and what you can do about it
If you eat food, you need to watch this film. This is a fantastic film about food issues with something in it for everyone. It covers the drastic changes in the food industry since modern industrial farming began and how it affects our health and the environment but finishes with a positive look on companies doing things right. It will suck you in, shock you, disgust you, anger you, but most importantly, it will make you a better-informed consumer and allow you to have more control over what you put into your body. I can’t stress how important it is for people to watch this film.
Take-away: You can reduce 80% of e-coli in cows by switching their diet from corn to grass
This is by far one of the best films I’ve ever seen because it ends off on a high-note. Addicted to Plastic was made by Toronto filmaker Ian Connacher and documents plastic pollution. He travels across 12 countries to detail plastic’s path over the past 100 years, the threats it poses and solutions to its recycling, toxicity, and biodegradability.
Take-aways: How microbeads in shower gels end up in our food chain. It also shows an island in the middle of the Pacific that is made up entirely of plastic debris. Watch the Addicted to Plastic trailor.
Where to find: In Canada, Addicted to Plastic is available at Blockbuster and Rogers and will be coming soon to Netflix in the US. You can always purchase Addicted to plastic on their site or on Amazon.ca.
Tapped is an extremely thought provoking documentary about the next biggest commodity, water, which many say will become more important than oil. It details the effects on local towns where water giants like Nestlé essentially rape small towns of their ground water, the health problems associated with bisphenol A (BPA) leaching from the bottles into the water, and the massive amount of environmental problems due to non-recycled water bottles. This movie will change the way you look at bottled water and make you carry a reusable water bottle around everywhere you go.
Take-away: Bottled water is basically an unregulated industry not subject to the strict tests that tap water is.
This France/Canada documentary looks at the environmental and health effects of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the frightening influence that Monsanto, the world leader in GMOs, has over the health organizations that are “supposed” to protect us.
Take-aways: How the Bush admin helped get GMOs accepted by the FDA, why Health Canada originally did not accept them despite US pressure and why they eventually caved.
Where to find it: Try your local video store or you can purchase it on the National Film Board of Canada’s website.
Home is a cinematographic masterpiece by world-renowned French photographer Yann-Arthus Bertrand. Narrated by Glenn Close, it’s a stunning journey around the world shot entirely by aerial view. It showcases nature’s majestic beauty but also its fragility due to human interaction. Home focuses mostly on climate change and what we need to do now to stop it from getting worse. Watch Home now.
Take-away: Goosebumps and a desire to read more about how to help at goodplanet.org.
Where to find: Home is available for purchase on Amazon.ca
Earthlings is by far the single-most, powerful documentary ever made on animal exploitation. Directed by L.A. filmmaker Shaun Monson and narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, it explores 5 areas of animal suffering; food, fashion, pets, entertainment and medical research. In a philosophical way, it draws the parallels between racism, sexism and now speciesism. Call it an alarm clock because it simply wakes people up!
Take-away: A sense of power now that you will know the truth
I labelled this film global warming for dummies in my review of An Inconvenient Truth back in 2008. Although this film was criticized by some in the scientific community, politicians and media and I also have my own issues with Al Gore (a cattle rancher), this film still has many merits. It teaches people in an easy-to-understand way what is climate change, why we should be concerned and what we can do about it. Although this film is 5 years old, not everyone has seen it and it is still a film I highly recommend.
Take-away: I now understand why polar ice caps melting contributes to climate change
Where to find: It should probably be in all video stores and is available for purchase on Amazon.ca.
8. The Cove
This Oscar winner is a suspenseful thriller about the ruthless slaughter of dolphins currently happening in Japan, unbeknownst to most Japanese. It’s a high-action, adventure and investigative journalism film that takes place against a Japanese mafia that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Men will appreciate its Bourne Identity-esque appeal.
Take-away: Why you shouldn’t support “swimming with dolphin” tourism activities
Sharks are now the most endangered species on the planet with over 90% of the total population gone. Sharkwater is an award-winning film about the plight of sharks becoming extinct due to human greed. This is the film debut of Rob Stewart, a Toronto wildlife photographer, who left his job to pursue this film when he discovered illegal activity (shark fining) that was happening in the Galapagos islands.
Take-away: Why the extinction of sharks affects the entire eco-system
This last film, I have currently not seen, but due to my familiarity with the authors and the claims, I am more than sure it will be a great watch.
Despite the most advanced medical technology, we are sicker than ever with heart disease, cancer and stroke the leading killers and child obesity and diabetes are rising at phenominal rates. Forks over Knives follows two medical doctor researchers who examine the claims that we can control and reverse most degenerative diseases by adopting a plant-based diet and foregoing processed foods. It follows reality patients in United States and Canada on their journey of adopting a plant-based diet to see if it really can work.