Anthropocene, Peak Capitalism

Top Five Climate Porn

In a previous post I mentioned my favorite short animation about the climate crisis. This time I propose a complete list of essential feature length documentaries in the same topic. For a documentary junkie like myself, it is quite challenging to keep the list to the strict minimum. But rest assured; here you will not find any slideshow-with-a-Nobel-prize telling you to change the lightbulbs.


The Planet (2006)
This Swedish production is the ultimate ‘enlightenment-style’ documentary with talking heads of experts and natural/industrial/cultural stock footage. Before you shrug and skip this film, let me tell you: it has exceptionally good soundtrack and editing. The objective narration of the documentary is sometimes abruptly abandoned and a hilarious sequence of MTV videoclip aesthetics takes over. Brilliant.


Home (2009)
Home by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand consists entirely of breathtaking aerial shots of planet Earth; I can guarantee that you will fall in love all over again with the thin crust of our hospitable biosphere. Although the overwhelming music and the god-like point of view creates somewhat of a distantiation effect, the voice of Glenn Close narrating our origins is undoubtedly moving for a large audience.

The Age of Stupid (2009)
Released the same pivotal year of the Copenhagen climate summit, this (probably first ever) crowdfunded independent film takes the opposite approach of Home; six factual personal stories are embedded in a sci-fi docu-fiction plot. Franny Armstrong has done a remarkable job in humanising the complexities of climate politics, as well as providing context with super-cute animated passages.


Chasing Ice (2012)
Having watched it very recently, this movie has perhaps the unfair advantage to having its fresh imprint in my mind. It is the story of the heroic project by the photographer James Balog, who captured the melting of the glaciers in time-lapse photography. The documentary itself is sadly full of American-style documentary clichés, but the confrontation with our massive impact on geological history is extremely disturbing.

Fort McMoney (2013)
This ambitious genre-blending interactive online ‘documentary game’ by David Dufresne was launched last November in IDFA. It immerses the player into Fort McMurray, the tar sands boom town in Alberta, Canada. By putting former spectators in the position of the filmmakers, it will hopefully engage people from all around the world in the politics of this ecocidal black-gold-rush, where so high stakes are being gambled.

You can download or stream all these films by clicking the titles, so you have no excuse for not watching. I also have so many ‘honorable mentions’ to include here, that I will probably end up writing another post with shorter propaganda movies that are equally valuable. If you have any recommendations, please do not hesitate to post them below!

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