Films that make my brain whirr

I’ve been checking out some films recently that have got my dinobrain working. There is an ever growing range of films available to watch on the subject of ‘sustainability’ and they vary greatly in terms of their approach, how they tackle physical and/or social factors, whether they answer questions or raise them and of course budget! Below is a selection of films that I have watched and would recommend, each one with a strong message arrived at in incredibly different ways.

Age of Stupid 150x150 Films that make my brain whirr

Image source: www.ageofstupid.net

The Age of Stupid (2008)
Directed by Franny Armstrong this is a view of our world looking back from the future. We are stupid. It asks the question: Why didn’t we do anything about climate change while we had the chance? It looks at the impacts climate change is already having on our planet and gives a pretty bleak picture of where it might lead if we remain ‘stupid’. The whole film can be downloaded from the Age of Stupid website www.ageofstupid.net or by clicking here (check out donation options!).

The End of Suburbia (2004)
Like the Age of Stupid, this is a wake-up call type film but looking at Peak Oil instead of Climate Change. The concept presented is that American suburban life is totally dependent on a continued supply of cheap oil, which we simply will not have in the coming decades: “The whole suburban project can be summarised as the greatest misallocation of resources in the history of the world. America took all of its post-war wealth and invested it in a living arrangement that has no future.” DVDs can be ordered from the website: www.endofsuburbia.com

Interview with Rob Hopkins, founder of Transition Towns (2007)
This 50min interview with Rob sets out the thinking behind Transition Towns, a movement to help us adapt now to a low-carbon, local lifestyle. Very good to watch after End of Suburbia (as I did). This guy is smart and also has a refreshing and impressively positive approach to a situation many others see as hopeless. Central is the idea that a life less dependent on oil can actually be better. Watch it for free here:

If like me, this film leaves you wanting to live in if not help create a Transition Town then check out the website for more information: www.transitionnetwork.org

Zeitgeist (2007) and Zeitgeit Addendum (2008)
Both of these feature films made by can be watched free of charge from the website www.zeitgeistmovie.com. Don’t watch them late at night or you won’t be able to sleep. They cover conspiracy theory, motives for war, exploitation of religion, dominance of the American Federal Bank, social corruption, 9-11 and utopian visions of the future. Whilst you can’t take all this on face value, the films are fascinating, scary and definitely make you think.

The Story of Stuff (2007)
An extremely accessible introduction to the idea of product life cycles and what the real impactsare that products can have on us and our environment. The entire film can be watched right here:

There are two other films in the ‘Story of…’ series, which you can watch by from the website www.storyofstuff.com.