• Helena Hosking

Essential Green Films: documentary and feature

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

Documentaries, features and shorts exploring diverse environmental issues.

Compiled by Helena Hosking for It's Freezing in LA!


Our Planet, 2019

This renowned documentary is a visual exploration into the contrasting habitats on our planet, recording the direct impacts of climate change as we see them today: sea level rise, global temperature increase, ice melt.  The four year project covers vast landscapes including those of Africa, South America and the Arctic.

DIrectors: Sophie Lanfear and Alastair Fothergill

Available on: Netflix

Ice on Fire, 2019

This documentary is a primer on technologies that are often cited as ways to help combat climate change. It discusses innovative designs to support reductions in global temperatures, from traditional renewable energy sources, to tidal energy and carbon sequestration.

Director: Leila Conners

Available on: Amazon Prime, HBO

Chasing Coral, 2017

This documentary tracks the increasing decline of coral around the world. Having taken three years to shoot and cut down from 500+ hours of underwater footage, Chasing Coral gives an insight into the impacts of climate change in our oceans, capturing time lapses of coral being ‘bleached’ by the ocean’s rising temperatures.

Director: Jeff Orlowski

Available on: Netflix

Warming Warning (1981)

Warming Warning was one of the first popular documentaries to warn about human induced consequences of climate change, and tells a cautionary tale about where we are 39 years on. Whilst only a selection of clips have been released from the copyright holder, they offer a fascinating perspective from scientists four decades ago, nine years before the first IPCC report was published.

Director: Richard Broad

Available on: Youtube



Sweeping past the high-rises of Caraghena, Colombia, across a short stretch of water is an island: Isla De Tierra Bomba. Surrounding the island is a coral reef threatened by changing oceans and local fishing practices alike. Armed with a diving kit, Yassandra is intent on studying Marine Biology and dreams of one day opening a diving school. She knows that her community needs to develop an emotional connection with the reef if they are to save it collectively. To do that they need to see it. DIVE TIERRA BOMBA DIVE charts the searing force of this young woman’s refusal to accept the reef’s degradation.

Director: Joya Berrow and Lucy X

Watch: Dive Tierra Bomba Dive and please consider supporting Yassandra's Go Fund Me campaign.

Who's Afraid of Ideology, 2017

Marwa Arsanios explores the Kurdish women’s autonomist movement, travelling to a cooperative in the Bekaa Valley which has become
 a sanctuary-like community for refugees.

Director: Marwa Arsanios

Available on: Vimeo

Three Seconds, 2016

This award winning short film emphasises humanity’s impact on Earth, breaking down the brief time humans have been on earth in proportion to its own existence: three seconds in 24 hours. Sharp inspires us to think about the future and how we can conserve our world and continue to the 4th second.

Director: Spenser Sharp

Available on: Youtube, Connect4Climate website

Memo Mori, 2009

Memo Mori assembles 2006-2009 footage that traces a journey through Hackney. Musing on loss and disappearance this canoe trip floats through the canal, the huts of the Manor Garden allotments in Hackney Wick, demolition, relocation, a magical bus tour through the Olympic park and a Hell’s Angel funeral, all marking a seismic shift in the topography of East London.

Director: Emily Richardson

Available on: LUX Distribution


Woman at War, 2019

This beautiful Icelandic film tells the story of Halla, a climate activist and choir mistress, who learns she is to adopt a child just as her attempts to shut down local fossil fuel infrastructure intensify. Musing on love and responsibility, it's a poignant vision of a woman trying to protect the world around her.

Director: Benedikt Erlingsson

Available on: various

Interstellar, 2014

The dystopian sci-fi film depicts earth decimated from an environmental crisis, agriculture dwindling threatening food shortages, and dust storms weakening air quality.

Director: Christopher Nolan

Available on: various

Snowpiercer, 2013

This sci-fi thriller, set in 2014, depicts life after an ice age that kills almost everyone on earth. The few hundred survivors are left to live on a train, battling who is let on creates a hierarchical divide. This dystopian film points to the importance of stable and equal governance when dealing with the growing consequences of climate change.

Director: Bong Joon-ho

Available on: various

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