Film Review on Documentary Sustainable

Film Review on Documentary Sustainable

The documentary Sustainable is a close investigation into America's food and agricultural system. This film focuses on exposing the climate crisis we face if we don't unite to find solutions to sustain our future for not only us but our future generations.

Film Review on Virunga- The Fight for the Last Mountain Gorillas

Film Review on Virunga- The Fight for the Last Mountain Gorillas

Few people can say they really know where Virunga National Park lies on a map and even fewer can tell you the tragedy that happened there in 2012. Virunga National Park is Africa’s oldest national park and is found in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Demain Earth Day Film Review

Demain Earth Day Film Review

Demain, is an inspiring film that takes us around the world showcasing the various ways individual communities are working together to make a difference for a greener more sustainable world.

Darwin's Nightmare Film Review

The haunting film, Darwin's Nightmare, by Hubert Sauper reveals the horrifying reality of how globalization and a scientific experiment gone wrong can lead to massive exploitation. About 40-50 years ago, the Nile Perch was introduced into Lake Victoria in Tanzania as a simple scientific study. This predatory fish quickly collapsed almost the entire stock of native fish species leaving the local fishermen with only one fish to work with.

This Perch soon became a multi-billion dollar industry. The majority of planes fly in daily from Europe to pick up the latest catch in exchange for weapons and ammunition to fuel some of Africa's deadliest wars in the Congo and Angola. Since the Nile Perch is far too expensive for locals to buy, their only choice is to end up with the wasted and spoiled remains. While Europeans and other developed nations are profiting off Tanzania's Perch and fueling Africa's blood wars, local Tanzanians are dying from starvation, diseases, or otherwise falling into prostitution and drugs. The film exposes the life of these prostitutes, Russian pilots, world bank agents, orphaned children and local fisherman. 

The fish may have been supporting thousands of fishermen and the elite Europeans not too long ago but today the reality is not so promising. The fish is now on the brink of extinction from overfishing, posing a serious threat to Lake Victoria as well as the devastating famine that has already plagued Tanzania in the past.

 Although Darwin's Nightmare is definitely an eye-opening documentary, it is not one of my favorites. There is a definite lack of focus and lack of solutions for an appalling outcome of developed nations and world organizations exploiting local people over an environmental crisis.

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México Pelágico- A Documentary That Will Inspire You to Protect Our Ocean’s Treasures!

Image from the Pelagic Life Initiative

Image from the Pelagic Life Initiative

This short film, México Pelágico directed by Jerónimo Prieto founder of Pelagic Life, will inspire you to seek out our ocean’s treasures and to protect and conserve its natural ecosystems. Pelagic Life is a non-profit of photographers and videographers working to capture high quality images of our ocean’s secrets.   México Pelágico portrays Mexico’s open ocean through the eyes of young and enthusiastic conservationists. The purpose of this film is to show the many threats our oceans face today due to our choices and much of our dependence on its resources.

As the team travels throughout some of Mexico’s most pristine and bio diverse dive spots such as Xcalak, Playa del Carmen, Baja, Cancún, and Guadalupe Island, their main goal is to illustrate the fragility of our ocean’s health. The crew steps into the lives of many communities in Mexico that depend on our ocean’s endangered species such as sharks and tuna to make a living for their families. This unfortunate dependence on shark finning, over fishing, etc. has resulted in the overexploitation of many species in Mexico. Throughout the documentary, we see the same fishermen in these Mexican communities, who once hunted for sharks, begin working to protect these majestic animals. This gives us hope that only with simple awareness and information, many of those educational gaps can begin to close.

The film successfully illuminates the unique experiences that occur in Mexico such as Great White Shark sightings, Whale Shark migrations, and world class diving with Giant Mantas and Bull sharks. These exceptional occurrences will inspire you to engage in the underwater African Serengeti and to respect and conserve it through awareness and responsible ecotourism.

The Only Home We Have

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Everyone should watch the documentary Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. This is precisely the information we all need to understand and act upon if we want our future generations to live in a beautiful world. In just the last 60 years our population has tripled. The more the world develops the more thirsty we are for energy. How will we satisfy that thirst? 1 in 6 people depend on fish as their primary source of protein. Yet 3/4 of fishing grounds around the world are exhausted, depleted, or endangered. What will we do when our oceans have been exhausted of fish? In America we use 800-1,000 liters of water per person per day. Water shortages could affect 2 billion people by 2025. Will you be one of those 2 billion? We are only 200,000 years old, yet we have managed to possess every habitat and territory like no other species ever has. Trees provide a habitat for 3/4 of all biodiversity but our forests are being turned into cattle ranches and soy bean farms to feed livestock in Europe and Asia. Will we exploit all of our resources as Rapa Nui did 600 years ago? 1 in 6 people live in unhealthy circumstances without clean water, sanitation, or electricity and half of the world’s wealth is in the hands of the richest 2% of the population. Does that make sense to you? Ice caps are melting at an alarming rate and sea levels are rising. 70% of the world’s population live on the coast, will your home be affected by rising seas? The delicate system that controls our climates has been extremely disrupted. We have no more than 10 years to change the way we live. What will you do?

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A World Without Bees

Bees are disappearing all over our planet and no one knows why. Honeybees pollinate $15 billion worth of food in the US alone. They are nature’s best indicator for environmental quality. What if your grocery store looked like the bottom half of this picture? Are we going to be ok with other countries producing all of our fruits and vegetables?

Image from The Vanishing of the Bees

In the eye-opening documentary, Vanishing of the Bees, by George Langworthy and Maryham Henein, we are forced to picture a hauntingly terrifying life without honeybees. Why are bees so important? For one, they pollinate approximately one third of all of the food we eat. Some of the many crops that depend on honeybee pollination include: apples, pears, raspberries, plums, cherries, carrots, and onions. Imagine your grocery store with none of these locally grown food products available.

Throughout the documentary we explore the subtle phenomenon which beekeepers call “colony collapse disorder” or CCD? What exactly is CCD? This term is used to refer to the mass die off of bee colonies around the world. Hives with CCD show symptoms such as worker bees abandoning their hive, which is extremely unnatural, and also lack of attack by other predators such as wasps.

Although no one can say for certain what is causing this awful calamity, many have agreed that decades of exploiting hives may be one reason for CCD. Many commercial beekeepers will feed their bees sugar-extract or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) after taking the honey from away from the bees. From a financial standpoint they can make more money selling the honey and buying artificial sweeteners but this money driven decision has made the bees weaker to pesticides and other chemicals they are exposed to. People may argue that sugar is sugar and that it is the same thing to the bees as honey but this isn’t true. HFCS has a different PH and it lacks the enzymes that bees receive from their natural honey.

Many people might not realize that when you feed the bees HFCS they store it in the same cells that their nectar gets store in mixing it with their honey. So when you buy honey from many suppliers you’re getting a mixture of honey and HFCS even if the label says “pure honey”. HFCS is claimed to be toxic to bees as well as to humans.

The only beekeepers that will thrive in this industry are those that seek sustainable approaches to producing honey, approaches that respect the bees needs creating a market for clean and natural honey.

What can you do?

Write your congressmen and vote with your fork, choose organic and local, plant your own garden with plants that benefit insects such as bees, stop spraying your plants, get to know your local honey producers, and help save the bees!

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