Environmental Film Reviews

Youth v Gov

AVAILABLE ON NETFLIX APRIL 29TH!

YOUTH v GOV is the story of the Juliana v. The United States of America constitutional lawsuit and the 21 American youth, ages 14 to 25, who are taking on the world’s most powerful government. Since 2015, the legal non-profit Our Children’s Trust, has been representing these youth in their landmark case against the U.S. government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, personal safety, and property through their willful actions in creating the climate crisis they will inherit.

As leaders in the youth climate movement, the twenty-one plaintiffs of Juliana v. The United States of America represent the diversity of American youth impacted by the climate crisis. They hail from 10 states: Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Louisiana, and New York. These film characters encompass cultural, economic and geographic diversity and many come from marginalized communities, serving as beacons of hope for those who do not have a platform to share their own stories. They are African-American, Indigenous, white, bi-racial, and LGBTQ, and their diversity speaks not only to the impacts of climate change, but to the inclusion required if we are to build a better and more just future together. These young people are activists, students, artists, musicians, and farmers, and their stories are universal. Click here for more information


Join us for Movies on the Mountain: a Spring Documentary Series

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is hosting Movies on the Mountain, a Spring Documentary Series, three Saturdays in April and May 2022. Join us in our beautiful outdoor Amphitheater to view these exciting and educational documentary films!

Hawk Mountain strives to be an inclusive outdoor destination for all nature lovers. The outdoor Amphitheater is ADA accessible and has accessible van parking. While on the Mountain, check out the Native Plant Garden and numerous other accessible spaces! For more information, visit hawkmountain.org/accessibility.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is hosting Movies on the Mountain, a Spring Documentary Series, three Saturdays in April and May 2022. Join us in our beautiful outdoor Amphitheater to view these exciting and educational documentary films!

Hawk Mountain strives to be an inclusive outdoor destination for all nature lovers. The outdoor Amphitheater is ADA accessible and has accessible van parking. While on the Mountain, check out the Native Plant Garden and numerous other accessible spaces! For more information, visit hawkmountain.org/accessibility.

Nature’s Clean Up Crew

Sat, Apr 23, 4 – 5 PM

$7, $5 for Members

Scavengers live in our cities, recycling the mountains of waste that consumer society leaves behind. With the help of thoughtful and passionate scientists who have come to love and understand them, the film discusses what makes scavengers tick and how creatures have adapted to thrive in an urban environment. Click here to register!

Tracking Notes: The Secret World of Mountain Lions

Sat, May 7, 5 – 7 PM

FREE

Joshua Lisbon, Education Director at MPG Ranch and featured mountain lion researcher will lead a Q&A session after the film. The documentary offers a glimpse into the secret world of the North American mountain lion and follows the cycles of the natural world over 9 years, tracking the life of a remarkable female mountain lion and her offspring. Click here to register!

Vanishing of the Bees

Sat, May 14, 6:30 – 8 PM

$10, $5 for Members

A short talk will be presented followed by the documentary, which examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the relationship between mankind and earth. It takes a piercing, investigative look at the economic, political, and ecological implications of this species’ worldwide disappearance. Click here to register!

The new award-winning documentary River’s End is now available to purchase or rent on VOD. Get an inside look at California’s complex struggle over who gets fresh water, and discover how big money and special interests take what they want and ordinary residents are left high and dry. It’s a story that heralds an impending crisis—not just in California, but around the world. Read more


The Human Element


We humans are a force of nature. At the same time human activities alter the basic elements of life – earth, air, water, and fire – those elements change human life.

In an arresting new documentary from the producers of RACING EXTINCTION, THE COVE and CHASING ICE, environmental photographer James Balog captures the lives of everyday Americans on the front lines of climate change. With rare compassion and heart, THE HUMAN ELEMENT inspires us to reevaluate our relationship with the natural world. Read more


David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (2020)


This new documentary serves as the “witness statement” of 94-year-old naturalist David Attenborough, who traces his career as a natural historian and outlines how the biodiversity of our planet has degenerated over his lifetime. The narrative starts in Pripyat, the ghost city home to the former Chernobyl Nuclear Plant, and traverses across various locations including the African Serengeti. He laments over a drastic decline in wildlife, caused by humans. Attenborough ultimately articulates hopes for the future and brings to the forefront solutions that may restore biodiversity. Looking at his career that spans five decades, this could easily go down as one of the best environmental films of all time. Read more


The latest environmental films to add to your watch list

A scene from the documentary We the Power. Courtesy of Mountainfilm

We reviewed movies from this year’s Mountainfilm Festival to find out which ones are worth your time.

More people are getting vaccinated, summer is on the horizon, and the Mountainfilm Festival is back. After going virtual last year, the annual event is combining the best of both worlds in 2021. There will be a small, in-person festival in Telluride, Colorado, over Memorial Day weekend, as well as a weeklong virtual festival starting on May 31.

As a media sponsor for this year’s event, Grist reviewed seven documentaries and shorts of the more than 120 featured at the festival, available to stream for a fee. These pieces explore racism in outdoor adventure culture, chronicle the next generation’s fight for a livable planet, and lay out the story of how evangelicals came to politically oppose environmentalism. Some were deeply moving, others left something to be desired — read on for our take on which films are worth your time. Read more


Something worth fighting for

Two films tell contrasting stories about the struggle against nuclear power

By Linda Pentz Gunter

Note: Beyond Nuclear, Goethe-Institut, DC and Heinrich Böll Stiftung, DC are making The Beekeeper and 33 Days of Utopia available free to screen at home until April 6. On Tuesday, March 30, at 1pm Eastern US time, please join us, the filmmakers and protagonists for a live discussion about the films and the culture of resistance to nuclear power. Register here.

“And at that point,” says Katie Hayward, halfway through Will McGregor’s short film, The Beekeeper, “I went cold”.

Hayward, the beekeeper of the film’s title, had just seen a news report showing the expanded footprint of the proposed two-reactor Wylfa B nuclear power project on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. Hayward’s home, which her family had tenanted since 1532, was right in the plan’s crosshairs. It would be bulldozed, and the farmland paved over.

Hayward’s fight to save her bees, her home and her rescue animals escalated, while her physical and mental health plummeted. As the farms around her sold out to Horizon — the nuclear subsidiary of site owner, Hitachi — Hayward found herself almost alone, a one-woman David against a corporate Goliath. Read more at Beyond Nuclear