Eye-Opening Documentaries Worth A Watch

by Maddie Vlismas

Watching the news in this modern age of climate disaster can be incredibly daunting and it seems oh-so appealing to stick your head in the sand just like our world’s politicians. 

There’s so much work to be done and it’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the negatives. 

So! We’ve made a shortlist of documentaries covering a range of Eco topics, that are equal parts scary and inspiring to watch. They might make you shed a tear or two, but they’ll also inspire and reignite the fire in your belly that yearns for a better future. These films hold an incredible capacity to educate us on how we can best make our voices count. So get comfy, grab some popcorn and a blanket and settle in for a marathon. 


From the director of That Sugar Film, comes 2040. An innovative feature film that looks for positive change for our future in a more modern way. Gameau shows us what the year 2040 could look like if we embraced the best solutions already available to us and moved them into the mainstream. The film is told with his young daughter Zoe in mind, who will be 21 in the year 2040. Mixed with documentary footage and dramatisations of what our new world could look like, it’s a visually striking campaign for change for our next generation. 



Much like 2040, Tomorrow is a film filled with hope. It looks at the initiatives of 10 different countries and how they are making strides to a cleaner and all around better planet. The French film looks at solutions across many challenges we face including agriculture, energy, economy, education and governance. More than anything, it is overwhelmingly optimistic and doesn’t bow to catastrophism. It simply shows every day people making creative alternatives. 


Mission Blue

The ocean is a big part of our identity as Australians and many of us feel a connection to it in one way or another which is why its destruction is so incredibly heartbreaking. Mission Blue follows the work of oceanographer Sylvia Earle as she makes it her mission to spread word of the dire condition of Earth’s oceans. “The oceans are our life force, no ocean: no us,” she says. 


Chasing Coral

Coral reefs hold the most diverse ecosystems in the world and are integral to the survival of millions of marine organisms. Chasing Coral shows the story of scientists, divers and photographers over a span of three years as they attempt to capture the widespread bleaching of coral reefs in order to prove the effect of the rising temperature of our oceans. The film showcases the overwhelmingly beautiful life that lives beneath the sea and encourages us to do our part to save it.

Before The Flood

Narrated by Leonardo Di Caprio, Before The Flood is a political statement and a call to action. He speaks to various political powers including Barack Obama and The Pope as well as scientists from all over the world. He urges us, the people of the world, to think about our choices and how they impact our climate. It’s an important message that reminds us that it’s our responsibility to make sure it’s somewhere worth living.  



“Planetary is a poetic and humbling reminder that it's time to shift our perspective,”. This film is a visually cinematic experience of mother earth and encouraging a reimagining of our relationship with ourselves and the planet. You’ll hear personal recounts from scientists, astronauts, environmentalists and explorers on how our worldview is profoundly affecting the conditions of here on earth.



There’s no disputing that animal agriculture plays a huge role in global warming and Cowspiracy even tells us that it’s “the primary industry destroying our planet more than any other,”. It’s against human nature to go against the grain, and making drastic changes to a diet that we’re used to is no exception. However, Cowspiracy looks are the vast impact across a range of environmental concerns including global warming, deforestation, water use and ocean dead zones. This film is a huge wake up call to so many people and it’s definitely one to watch. 

The True Cost

Society’s demand for cheap, fast fashion is destroying the world and The True Cost sheds light on the whole shady topic that’s hidden just out of view. This documentary takes a look at each aspect of the problem from environmentalism to a devastating lack of human rights. It’s unlikely you’ll get through this one with a dry eye, but boy will its make you look at your wardrobe differently. A must watch.



Yes, it’s a trend but first and foremost it’s a way of life that teaches us to reflect on the true value of material items. Consumerism has taught us that things will make us happy and that without the latest model or update, we’re to feel dissatisfied. That’s not to say that owning or wanting things is bad- it’s just gotten a little bit out of hand. The minimalists show us where they find meaning and happiness in their lives and it’s really uplifting. Living with less helps you appreciate the important things!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.