#WorldEnvironmentDay: Movies that’ll make you care about climate change a little more than you do

A host of fantastic films that have depicted the devastating effect of climate change and created an impact.

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Climate change is real, so what better medium than cinema to touch upon a pressing issue which affects our today and tomorrow? While it’s easy to disguise it as propaganda for its many detractors, those who know how dangerous the situation is have certainly gotten a better idea of what needs to be done. 

On the occasion of World Environment Day, we list some of the best movies that have touched upon the subject of environmental disasters and catastrophes that have left their impact on the planet. 

Soylent Green (1973)

This is one of the earliest films that told the world about the terrifying realities of climate change. This dystopian thriller from the 70s is set in an overpopulated New York City in 2022 (they knew it before anyone did). The world is not habitable, thanks to global warming; food is scarce, natural resources have depleted, people are without homes, and oceans are drying. A horrifying food situation follows (think cannibalism) and a detective uncover the misdeeds carried out by a food-making company. 

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Based on the non-fiction book The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, the film delivers the important message that unsustainable choices made by humans are making the planet worse with every passing day. This sci-fi film showed the climatic effects following a disruption of the North Atlantic Ocean circulation—many cities are destroyed due to giant tidal waves. Amid this tragedy, we see Dennis Quaid playing a paleoclimatologist, making a daring voyage during the catastrophes from Washington, D.C. to New York City in search of his son, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. 

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

Former United States Vice President Al Gore has been one of the strongest advocates for climate change and global warming for a long time. This groundbreaking documentary written by the man himself is an earnest effort to educate people about the tragedies that might befall upon us if we do not take matters more seriously. Through his speeches and presentations, he analyses the causes, effects, and solutions to give the environmental movement more wings. Much to no one’s surprise An Inconvenient Truth won the Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards that year. 

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Loosely adapted from the 1951 film of the same name, this film tells audiences how man’s biggest enemy is man himself. Keanu Reeves plays the role of an alien named Klaatu who is sent to Earth with a simple mission—either change the way humans behave or eliminate them for good. It is a power-packed cast that also includes the likes of Jennifer Connelly, John Cleese, and Kathy Bates. 

Snowpiercer (2014)

Movies with apocalyptic themes always have our interest. This one is about a train named Snowpiercer— it travels through endless snow on a track that circles the globe with the little remaining people left on the planet without making any stops. On the train, the lines between classes are wealth are established—as the poorest sit at the back while the rich live a comfortable life up front. Based on the French graphic novel 'Le Transperceneige' by Jacques Lob, the film stars Chris Evans as one of the lower-class passengers who rebels against the elite. The movie paints a striking picture of what the world today is—a lopsided division of wealth where the rich get everything and the rest fight over what is left. 

Don't Look Up (2021) 

Nothing gets better than this satire. With media playing an instrumental role in deciding how and what we think about, 'Don’t Look Up' mocks how things seem on planet Earth and the many threats to. And who better than Leonardo DiCaprio, a real-life advocate of climate change awareness to play the lead? He plays a science professor alongside Jennifer Lawrence as his younger student. The duo is tasked with convincing those in charge of public perception that a fast-approaching comet is going to signal their doom.