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Top ten movies about sustainability

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Movies can be a great educational tool for kids. Over the past decade many authors and film directors focused on topics such as sustainable development, critical consumption, ecology and financial crisis. Consumer Classroom has selected for you the ten best films on these topics. 

10. No impact man (2009)

An American documentary directed by Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein. The film follows Colin Beavan and his family during their year-long experiment to have sustainable zero impact on the environment.

Watch the trailer



9. Flow: for love of water (2008)

This documentary directed by Irena Salina features interviews with water and community activists Maude Barlow, Peter Gleick and scientists Ashok Gadgil, Rajendra Singh and Vandana Shiva. The film concentrates on the big business of privatization of water infrastructure which prioritizes profits over the availability of clean water for people and the environment.

Watch the trailer


8. An inconvenient truth (2006)

A documentary film directed by Davis Guggenheim about former United States Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to educate citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show that, by own estimate made in the film, he has given more than a thousand times.

Watch the trailer



7. Erin Brockovich (2000)

A biographical film directed by Steven Soderbergh. The movie is a dramatization of the true story of Erin Brockovich, portrayed by Julia Roberts, who fought against the US West Coast energy corporation Pacific Gas and Electric Company, accused of polluting a city’s water supply.

Watch the trailer



6. Food, Inc. (2008)

An American documentary directed by Robert Kenner. The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees.

Watch the trailer



5. The Corporation (2003)

A Canadian documentary film written by University of British Columbia law professor Joel Bakan and directed by Mark Achbar and Jennifer Abbott. The documentary looks at the concept of the corporation throughout recent history up to its present-day dominance.

Watch the trailer



4. Inside Job (2010)

A documentary about the late-2000s financial crisis directed by Charles H. Ferguson. In five parts, the film explores how changes in the policy environment and banking practices helped create the financial crisis.

Watch the trailer



3. Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

A ground-breaking cult movie about ecology directed by Godfrey Reggio with music composed by Philip Glass. The film has no conventional plot: merely a collection of expertly photographed scenes. Subject matter has a highly environmental theme.

Watch the trailer



2. Earthlings (2005)

A documentary about humanity’s use of animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment and for scientific research. The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby and was directed by Shaun Monson.

Watch the trailer



1. WALL-E (2008)

An animation movie produced by Pixar and directed by Andrew Stanton. The story follows a robot named WALL-E, who is designed to clean up a waste-covered Earth far in the future. The film is seen as a critique on larger societal issues. It addresses consumerism, environmental problems, waste management and the immense impact humans have on the Earth.

Watch the trailer

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Consumer Classroom is a collaborative website for teachers from across the EU. It provides high quality resources and interactive tools to equip 12 - 18 year olds with the practical consumer skills they need.
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