March of the Penguins (2005)
This National Geographic movie promises to be one of the most accurate descriptions of what it’s like to be a penguin and to live in one of the harshest environments on the planet. With the amazing voice of Morgan Freeman to guide spectators through the various events depicted, this film will fill everyone’s heart with love and affection for the natural world – and especially for penguins.
Into The Wild (2007)
Masterfully directed by Sean Penn, this film narrates the true story of Christopher McCandless, who, having graduated from Emory University, decides not to pursue a successful and profitable career and turns down his family’s wealth. He donates everything he has to charity and then goes out into nature and does the best he can to survive. Although the scenery is absolutely wonderful, the message at the end of the movie is extremely sobering, as is the ending itself. The underlying dialectic is a struggle between society and nature and does well to get everyone thinking about ideas of materialism and philosophy.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
Directed by Davis Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Truth follows former American Vice President Al Gore’s life and career, focusing on his passion for environmental issues and how he endeavored to spread facts about the Earth’s current conditions. At the center of the movie lies the question as to whether we are destroying the planet, and the film has done more than any other in raising consciousness about the issue of global warming.
Without any narration, Koyaanisqatsi is a film which shows nature and civilization alongside one another; contrasting them in utterly surprising, occasionally appalling ways. The title comes from the Opi Indian word for “life out of balance”, suggesting that the modern world and technology have waged war against the environment and its sublime beauties. The two realities, the film suggests, are inextricably linked; nature having been reduced to the resources on which technology feeds. Thus, the film is ultimately a sort of condemnation of man’s potential destructiveness.
Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, this American biographical movie describes the hike of a recently divorced woman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and healing. With its inspiring qualities, Wild comes with plenty to think about and has been noted for its healing, relatable style that evokes a real love and connection to nature.
The Alps from Above: A Symphony of Summits (2013)
Making use of all-new technologies in aerial shooting and photography, this ground-breaking documentary takes viewers above the soaring glaciers, ski fields and summits of the Alps. Shot with uber-sharp Cineflex, it’s best watched in high definition and comes complete with some seriously insightful narration about the region’s most fascinating spots.
A Good Year (2006)
Starring Marion Cotillard and Russell Crowe, A Good Year is a British romantic drama set in the French region of Provence. With the amazing views and the wonderful atmosphere of this land as a backdrop, the action of this piece captivates and enthralls and may just want to make you leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life for good.
Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
Directed by the award-winning German film-maker Werner Herzog, Encounters at the End of the World is the result of the director’s expedition to Antarctica. It reports his adventure near the McMurdo Station and all the stories of the people he met there. Essentially a documentary film, any spectator is sure to be bewitched by the sublime beauty of the icy mountains and the sheer awesomeness of the environments it is set in.
The Beach (2000)
Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as its protagonist, The Beach is the story of an American backpacker who decides to travel to Thailand and explore a mysterious island which is believed to be a secluded paradise. Shot in Bangkok and on the jungle-shrouded, white-sand beaches of Ko Phi Phi Lee, this one is a fine introduction to the character of Southeast Asia – from the unbridled hedonism of the region’s capitals to the unbridled beauties of its beaches.
The Salt of the Earth (2014)
This wonderful documentary is an account of both the beauty of our planet and of man’s monstrosity when dealing with nature and its products. It is the result of the efforts of photographer, Sebastião Salgado, who traveled for 40 years through four continents and traced the marks which recent historical events have left on a series of natural settings. Simply put: not to be missed.