Cinema and the environment: 5 movies for the 5th of June

Vogliamo celebrare la Giornata mondiale ONU dell’ambiente proponendo cinque film che raccontano il travagliato e magnifico rapporto fra uomo e ambiente.

These movies are an ode to nature, which is often is often depicted as a violent force rather than a loving mother. Its laws remind us that we are just ephemeral guests in this beautiful Planet.

5 movies for the 5th of June, World Environment Day

Nanook from the North, by Robert J. Flaherty (1922)

It’s most likely the first anthropological documentary. Flaherty’s camera documents the life of an Inuit family, from summer to winter. The village of Nanook is close to Hudson Bay. Life is harsh and wild. The Inuit people live according to the laws of nature, hunting what they need and moving seasonally.

Where the Green Ants Dream, by Werner Herzog (1984)

Progress against nature. The Australian desert is the battleground as well as the point of contention between a mining company and Indigenous Australians. This movie highlights the dualism between the culture of destruction – represented by excavators – and the thousand-year old indigenous culture, living in harmony with the surrounding environment.

Into the Wild, by Sean Penn (2007)

A return to the origins and an escape from cilisation’s material wellbeing in order to find his inner self. Based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild brings us to wild and pristine lands and makes us reconsider our civilised and consumer society.

Nati per volare (Born to fly), by Marco Visalberghi (2007)

This documentary movie tells the story of Angelo D’Arrigo, the man who dreamt of flying with the Andean condors. Angelo adopted two condor chicks born in captivity and taught them to fly, whilst trying to figure out the secrets of flying, which allow condors reaching up to 10,000 metres of altitude.

Read also: Before the Flood, full movie. DiCaprio’s new documentary is a call to defend our planet

Recipes for Disaster, by John Webster (2008)

This movie is a fascinating and apparently impossible challenge: quitting oil and its derivatives, including plastic, in order to cut CO2 emissions. It’s the endeavour into which John Webster (the director of the movie) threw himself into, bringing his family with him. The movie, which is smart and ironic, switches between moments of amusement and moments of disappointment, whilst shedding light on the ongoing environment crisis.

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