These are three documentaries that will get you thinking about the meaning of Earth Day and quite possibly your own role in contributing to the health of our planet. Two are bird-related (no surprise there) and despite the big Hollywood and political names, the other deserves serious consideration.
#1. Sea Eagle: Bird With The Golden Eye
Directed by Marion Pöllmann
On Amazon Video: http://amzn.to/2oAxE01
This is a documentary that beautifully captures aspects of an ecosystem including Wolves, Bears, Ravens, Magpies, and White-tailed Eagles in Belarus. The area of the country where this documentary was shot has not been developed due to lingering Russian Federation influences — according to the film.
The footage is exquisite. The film visually documents, in detail, how these opportunistic White-tailed Eagles survive long harsh winters and follows two birds on their migration route to Crimea. The documentary highlights the importance of understanding the human impact on apex predators.
#2. Before The Flood
Featuring Leonardo DiCaprio
Directed by Fischer Stevens
On Amazon Video: http://amzn.to/2oAyZ73
The footage in this documentary speaks for itself. Much like Chasing Ice, the visual representations of climate change are unsettling. The documentary focuses on the individual impact on climate as well as the global impact. The truths are inconvenient to say the least. The footage shot in China is surreal — just watch for yourself.
Here are just a few examples of what is touched on: destruction of ecosystems on land and sea, eradication of coral reefs, slash and burn deforestation methods, tar sands, and cattle. Another pressing concern raised in the documentary — how can developing nations transition from coal to renewable energy? Keep in mind, there are currently 3 million people in India without electricity.
The information about climate change is out there and available (not necessarily accessible) to everyone, but what are we as a society supposed to do with this information? What are we as a society going to about climate change?
It’s easy to get lost in it all and this documentary helps to put it in perspective.
#3. Saving Pelican 895
Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky
On Amazon Video: http://amzn.to/2nNNojf
A difficult 38 minutes to watch. This film documents the journey of Pelican 895. This Pelican received it’s name because it was the 895th Pelican brought in to the Fort Jackson Oiled Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Louisiana in the aftermath of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The catastrophic events of the 2010 BP oil spill led to the deaths of over 7,000 birds and untold numbers of other wildlife, including marine mammals — don’t forget the lives it claimed. This documentary not only sheds light on the plight of oiled birds, but also on the impact an oil spill has on a community, conservationists, government resources, and wildlife specialists.
It is a tough 38 minutes to watch, but it is a must watch. The connections between human impacts on the environment and the effects on wildlife are distinct and are worth exploring.
Watch these and get pumped up for Earth Day. (Pssst. Earth Day is every day.)
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