An Earth Day Playlist

TV and films that explore nature, human relationships to nature, climate change and the future of humanity. This is a list than can only exist on Topic. You have to see it to know what we mean.
4.21.2022
1. Through Greenland - With Nikolaj Coster-WaldauDenmarkDocumentary1 SN | 5 EPS

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau takes us on an adventure across Greenland, and gives us a very personal tour of his adopted country. Meet the locals, get to know the culture, and see how climate change is impacting its breathtaking landscapes.

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2. Nostalgia for the LightFranceDocumentary1 Hour 30 Mins

In Patricio Guzmán’s otherworldly odyssey to Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, earthly and celestial quests meld as women search for the remains of their loved ones in the sand while astronomers observe the translucent sky above.

3. The Book of DogUnited StatesComedy1 SN | 4 EPS

If dogs could talk, surely they’d share philosophical musings, biting insults—and stories of how centuries of selective breeding have altered their genetic makeup. Fred Armisen, Janeane Garofalo and others voice beloved breeds in this quirky series.

4. EatingUnited StatesDocumentary1 SN | 10 EPS

Seven billion people. One act. Infinite ways to do it. Everybody eats, but that’s where the similarities end. With the power to influence cultures, industries, and personal ambitions, eating is a direct entry point into understanding humanity

5. Without CoalUnited StatesDocumentary1 SN | 4 EPS

West Virginia used to run on coal. Now the communities that flourished around the mines have been left to fend for themselves. In this four-part documentary series, former miners, union members, environmentalists, and students work to bring their beloved home state into the 21st century.

6. Stallions of PalestineUnited StatesDocumentary45 Mins

For many Palestinians, Arabian horses are a living symbol of their culture’s resilience; as one breeder says, they are “art mixed with history.” In this new documentary, meet a young Palestinian breeder named Abdel Naser Musleh and his tight-knit family as they navigate the difficulties of raising these delicate animals in the West Bank—where access to vets and training facilities always seems to be a checkpoint away.

7. Death By A Thousand CutsUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 14 Mins

Eligio Eloy Vargas, a Dominican Park Ranger in the Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, was found brutally murdered by machete. At the time, he was believed to have been on patrol investigating an illegal charcoal production site often run by Haitians coming across the border into protected Dominican forests. This murder becomes the metaphor for the larger story of increasing tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over illicit charcoal exploitation and mass deforestation.

8. Losing Sight of ShoreUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 32 Mins

Four women set out to row across the Pacific Ocean, from America to Australia. As they row over 8,000 miles during their nine months at sea, they must overcome extreme mental and physical challenges to make history.

9. Bananas!*SwedenDocumentary1 Hour 28 Mins

Focusing on a landmark legal case pitting a dozen Nicaraguan banana plantation workers against Dole Food Corporation, this film uncovers the alleged usage of a banned pesticide and its probable link to generations of sterilized workers. Central to the case is Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez, a Los Angeles-based personal injury attorney facing the biggest challenge of his career. It’s a classic David vs. Goliath story with the futures of generations of workers and their families at stake.

10. State of HappinessNorwayDrama1 SN | 8 EPS

The road to progress is paved in blood, sweat, and oil. This Nordic drama follows the history-making events that created modern Norway. When a small fishing town discovers something big, six individuals must seize a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

11. If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation FrontUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

Documentarian Marshall Curry investigates the darker side of the fight for our environment in this documentary about the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a radical group of activists that has gone to extreme lengths to protest against deforestation. The film focuses on Daniel McGowan, a former member of ELF who was sentenced to life in prison when he was found guilty of acts of environmental terrorism after he participated in the firebombing of several Oregon-based timber companies.

12. The Road MovieBelarusDocumentary1 Hour 10 Mins

Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s THE ROAD MOVIE is a stunning compilation of video footage shot exclusively via the deluge of dashboard cameras that populate Russian roads. The epitome of a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it documentary, it captures a wide range of spectacles through the windshield—including a comet crashing down to Earth, an epic forest fire, and angry motorists taking road rage to wholly new and unexpected levels—all accompanied by bemused commentary from unseen drivers and passengers.

13. Swarm SeasonUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

In this exploration of science, nature, and Indigenous cosmology set against the otherworldly landscapes of Hawaii, 10-year-old Manu and her mother collect wild, endangered bees in hopes of cultivating disease-resistant colonies.

14. House on FireUnited StatesDocumentary1 SN | 5 EPS

To us they’re mundane objects, but to them they’re priceless. House on Fire asks individuals to save one thing if their house were ablaze. The items they choose tell entire stories about culture, identity, and the true value of material possessions.

15. Climate of ChangeUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 28 Mins

Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton narrates this documentary focusing on the efforts of everyday people all over the world who are making a difference in the fight against global warming. From Indian students organizing demonstrations to a London PR executive helping companies to become more environmentally responsible to Papua New Guineans who refuse to allow commercial logging on their rainforest land. These are stories of ordinary humans finding solutions to help save the planet.

16. SantoallaUnited StatesDrama1 Hour 23 Mins

Progressive Dutch couple Martin Verfondern and Margo Pool had only one dream – to live off the land, far from the constraints and complications of the city. But, when they arrive in the crumbling, Spanish village of Santoalla, the foreigners challenge the traditions of the town's sole remaining family, igniting a decade-long conflict that culminates in Martin's mysterious disappearance. Andrew Becker and Daniel Mehrer's expertly crafted true crime film follows Margo as she unravels the puzzle.

17. Passing Storms: The Survival of St. ThomasUnited StatesDocumentary1 SN | 3 EPS

In September 2017, the US Virgin Islands were hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which arrived just two weeks apart. Now, those living on the 32-square-mile island of St. Thomas must learn how to rebuild—and thrive—in the face of unbelievable loss. In this short documentary series, follow a group of residents as they sort through the wreckage and come together to celebrate Carnival.

18. SweetgrassUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 43 Mins

Modern-day cowboys lead their flocks of sheep up into Montana’s mountains for summer pasture in this unsentimental elegy to the American West. A tribute to those, past and present, who eke out a bittersweet living on the land.

19. The Last FishermanVietnamScience Fiction12 Mins

A lone Vietnamese fisherman trying to survive in an apocalyptic future encounters an android he hoped would have remained in his dark past. Sci-fi and nature collide in this dystopian story set against the lush and expansive South China Sea.

20. Braddock, PAUnited StatesAnimation1 SN | 4 EPS

Follow the Monongahela River southeast from Pittsburgh to Braddock, Pennsylvania, a steel town whose residents forged America—and paid for it with their lives. The city and its surrounding area have one of the highest cancer rates in the country, and a history of health outcomes split along color lines. Braddock (population: less than 2,000) is also home to people who are determined to stick around and improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors.

21. Sad Animal FactsUnited StatesAnimation1 SN | 8 EPS

A lighthearted series about the never-ending humiliations of animal life on Earth.

22. In My RoomGermanyDrama1 Hour 60 Mins

Lost in life and beset by a recent passing, Armin has nowhere to go and just as much to show for himself. Fate (or something like it) intervenes when Armin awakes one morning and discovers that seemingly all of humanity has disappeared, leaving him to his limited devices and opening the door for self-discovery — but the gift of maximum freedom bears complications. Directed by Ulrich Kohler and starring Hans Low and Elena Radonicich. Screened at the Cannes Film Festival.

23. No Impact ManUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 32 Mins

Author Colin Beavan began the No Impact Project in November 2006. A newly self-proclaimed environmentalist, Colin vows to make as little environmental impact as possible for one year. That is, until his retail-worshipping wife Michelle and their two year-old daughter are dragged into the fray. Laura Gabbert and Justin Schein's film provides a front row seat into the familial strains and strengthened bonds that result from Colin's and Michelle's struggle with this radical lifestyle change.

24. BuddyNetherlandsDocumentary1 Hour 26 Mins

In this delightful documentary about six amazing service dogs and their heroic owners, legendary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann explores the close bond between animal and human. Whether grabbing a sheet of paper from a printer, helping to push in a syringe, comforting a veteran with PTSD while he sleeps, or simply being a friend to a child with autism, Honigmann captures the beautiful, intimate moments that define these relationships.

25. Portrait of a GardenNetherlandsDocumentary1 Hour 39 Mins

In a picturesque garden on a grand country estate, two long-time friends, an 85 year-old pruning master and the gardener, talk about food, their craft and the changing world around them. A search for meaning, companionship and the right ingredients.

26. Gray HouseUnited StatesDocumentary1 Hour 15 Mins

A silent fisherman in Texas, a blazing oil field in North Dakota, a mysterious community in Virginia, a women’s prison in Oregon, and a modernist home in California are the ostensible Casts of Austin Lynch and Matthew Booth’s new feature, Gray House. But these explorations of sound, image, and cinematic time seamlessly blend documentary and narrative form, meditating upon nature, isolation, decadence, and destitution.

27. Manimal KingdomUnited StatesAnimation1 SN | 4 EPS

A nature series about the habits of the most destructive creatures on the planet.

28. Follow the MoneyDenmarkCrime3 SN | 30 EPS

SYNOPSIS  An apparent industrial accident at a wind farm leads detectives to uncover a web of corruption.

WHAT  Economic crime thriller set in the world of sustainable energy.

WHY  Another winner from the producers of The Bridge and The Killing.

29. SF8South KoreaScience Fiction1 SN | 8 EPS

SYNOPSIS  Eight filmmakers envision the “perfect society” of the future.

WHAT  Sci Fi anthology series. Themes include artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and superpowers.

WHY  Regarded Korean equivalent of “Black Mirror.”

*Some titles may not be available in Canada