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Movies - Apr 19, 2016

6 Eye-opening Documentaries to Watch on Earth Day

Fascinating films about the food you eat, the plight of the world’s songbirds and more
Seeds of Time (2013). Visit

April 22 is Earth Day, when the global community is asked to take a moment to ponder the planet and what each of us can do to ensure it enjoys a healthy, sustainable and environmentally sound future. Once you’ve celebrated by planting a tree, picking up some litter, installing energy-efficient light bulbs or cooking an organic dinner for the family, why not sit down to enjoy one of these perfectly themed documentaries to complement the day?

Divide in Concord (2014)

This charming, inspiring documentary embodies the “think globally, act locally” spirit, and centres around Jean Hill, a feisty octogenarian who embarks on a mission to convince her fellow residents in Concord, Mass., to ban single-serve plastic water bottles. In the process, she stands up to defiant neighbours, reluctant merchants and the bottled-water industry itself.

The End of the Line (2009)

If you like seafood or sushi, this doc – which examines the imminent crisis resulting from the overfishing of the world’s waters – is an absolute must-watch. Predicting the potential end of seafood by 2048, the film exposes the corrupt practices in the fishing industry, the apathy of the average diner and the impending extinction of the bluefin tuna, among other species.

Gasland (2010)

In this doc, filmmaker Josh Fox sets out to uncover the disturbing realities of fracking – the use of pressurized chemical fluid to fracture rock deep beneath the Earth’s surface and access natural-gas veins. From contamination (flammable tap water!) to community displacement, the film shines an alarming light on an increasingly prevalent practice.

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (2014)

Think about how much food you throw away each week. That’s what filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer did, and then decided to document their year eating only food that had been discarded by grocery stores due to imperfections or because it was nearing or just past its expiry date. The results are enlightening and entertaining.

The Messenger (2015)

Boasting breathtaking cinematography, this moving documentary examines the plight of the world’s songbirds, whose populations are declining globally due to trappers, climate change and the destruction of their natural habitat. More importantly, the film reveals the delicate link between the birds’ fate and that of humanity.

Seeds of Time (2013)

Prepare to have your mind blown by Cary Fowler and the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a massive “bank” storing seeds for more than 2 million varieties of food plants. Inspired by a 2007 article in The New Yorker, the film introduces Fowler and his work, which aims to protect the future of the world’s crops from manmade disasters and the effects of climate change.