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Ecological Movie Reviews – By Jeanine SanClemente

by March 15, 2022 0

A big thanks to Jeanine SanClemente for reviewing all of the films on the Films For Action site under the heading of:

Cancel the Apocalypse: Documentaries to Help Unlock the Good Ending


Bioregional Living: A Permaculture Guide to Food and Energy Independence (30 min.)-Andrew Faust (2020) 

Topics-Sustainable Living, Permaculture, Green Energy

Andrew Faust would like to answer questions after the viewing—contact him through the email below

I would recommend this movie but would highly suggest watching it first. It is largely specific to New York and it can be relatively academic in nature. This film is good for venues interested in ways to produce their own food and energy in a food insecure future. It will spark conversations about what we can do ensure food and energy security and ways that this can be used to provide jobs and income to the area. 

Potential partners include the filmmaker (who has requested to be a part of Q and A sessions after the showing), speakers from 21 Acres (where they are working on food security and electricity conservation and production), 

After watching the movie, viewers can take a farm and/or facilities tour of 21 Acres to see what they are doing to produce energy, to conserve energy, and to research local answers to food security and permaculture. 

Contact info.-

Screening Costs-Free, but filmmaker would like to answer questions after the showing

Advertising materials-None


The Evolution of Ecological Consciousness- (109 min.)-Andrew Faust (2013)- 

Topics-Geologic history, ecological systems, evolution, environmental pollution, medical effects of pollution

Andrew Faust would like to answer questions after the viewing—contact him through the email below

This is a good movie to watch for the edification of viewers, but many of them may find it hard to watch. It feels like a college lecture. This film would be good for venues made up of highly educated folks who can (and want to) focus for long periods of time on relatively academic material. It will spark conversations about Earth’s history and evolution, providing content that most people don’t already have. The end of the movie discusses ecologically conscious solutions. 

Potential partners would be filmmaker (who has requested to be a part of Q and A sessions after viewings), university professors in the areas of environmental pollution, geological history and evolution. 

After watching, participants could review local bills that focus on environmental pollutants (plastics, etc.) and write a letter to their elected officials supporting the abolition of environmental pollutants. Another option would be advocating for adding greenspaces. 

Contact info.-

Screening Costs-Free, but the filmmaker would like to answer questions after the viewing

Advertising Materials-None


The Economics of Happiness-(2011) (68 min.) 

Globalization, localization, climate change, modernization, isolation in a modern age

I would recommend this movie about the dangers of globalization and the joys of localization. This film is good for venues interested in learning about promoting a local economy and it will spark great conversations about how we can further localize our economy. Potential partners could include Seattle Good-

After watching the movie, participants can move their money to local banks or credit unions or they can consider ways they can purchase more of their goods locally using farmer’s markets or the Seattle Good website. 

Contact info.- 


Screening Costs-Free, but list the screening on their website- 

Advertising materials- 


A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity (2016) (79 min.) 

Simple Living, Sustainable Living, Intentional Community, Permaculture,  Cohousing, Tiny Houses, Cob Houses, Local Economy

I would highly recommend this film to groups who are interested in simple living and intentional community. This movie is about a group of unacquainted people who live off the grid on a plot of land for a year. They build different types of houses, plant a permaculture garden, and deal with community conflict. The movie will spark conversations about how each of us can simplify our lives and how simplifying can make our lives better. Potential partners could include local cohousing groups (Jeanine has lived in Sharingwood in Snohomish County for over 20 years and would be happy to talk about this), 21 Acres, cob and straw bale builders, and rain garden designers.

Contact info.- 

Screening Costs-Free, but would appreciate a donation

An action people can take after watching this movie might be working on a local community garden or helping on a tiny house/cob house build. They could also look at ways to build community in their neighborhoods. 


Renewables Can’t Power Capitalism, But They Can Power Ecosocialism 

(24 min.)

This is an excellent video essay about capitalism and ecosocialism that outlines a concise vision of our future with renewables. However, I would not recommend it for MMP purposes—it’s clearly an essay with pictures, not a movie. It might be good for groups that are willing to sit through this type of presentation, especially if it’s part of a two or three movie series about socialism or visions of the future. Keep in mind that parts of it may be debatable—especially whether renewables can power our future. 

Partners could include Seattle Democratic Socialists of America—they have an ecosocialist group that meets regularly and could like provide someone to represent this line of thinking.

Screening Costs-Free, but groups can donate to 


No contact information


An action that can be taken after watching this movie is contacting elected officials to support renewable energy projects. 


INHABIT: A Permaculture Perspective (2015) (92 min.)-

I strongly recommend this movie! It is an engaging look at permaculture practices and reasons why permaculture is healthy for humans and the earth. The film will spark great conversations about our food system and sustainable food practices. Potential partners include 21 Acres (, Cascadia Edible Landscapes (, and Andrew Faust (a permaculture expert from NY who is featured in the film and who has shown interest in being part of Q and A sessions about permaculture-

Contact info.- 


Screening Costs-This is unclear—they say it is dependent upon group size and purpose, but don’t clarify beyond this. I would use the contact information above to find out more. Individual screening is $5.

Advertising materials-–KweUNCL-Sa?dl=0 

Film database-Collective Eye (

An action people could take after the screening might be checking into edible plants that they can add to their garden/deck. 


The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilization? (2019) (100 min.)

This is an inspiring movie. It offers a vision of the future of how civilization is likely to change during climate change/political change, along with some examples of how this has already happened when societies have fallen apart. It also gives some practical steps to take towards this vision. This film will spark hopeful conversations about what our future could look like and ways that individuals can work towards this change. Potential partners could include members of Transition Seattle (

The movie can be previewed on Vimeo, but only individuals can watch it here. Groups need to rent it from Bullfrog Films for $85,

Here’s a link to a poster you can customize-

Here’s a link to resources- 

I would suggest giving participants 20 or so minutes after watching the film to either write about their preferred future world, do a collage about it (you would need to provide materials), or do a piece of visual art about it. Having a visual reminder of what we are working towards helps when the work is tough.

After this, I would suggest that people talk about their envisioned future and what they can do now to ensure that this happens. 


Zeitgeist: Moving Forward (2008) (160 min.)

I would not suggest this movie. While it makes a compelling argument about human nature, our brains and genetics, and why we have become materialistic, the argument takes too long to come to fruition and uses far too many examples. The arguments get lost in their length. I could see participants getting bored and frustrated. This film needs editing to take out the patently obvious and focus on what it has to say that is new and different. It is best after about 90 minutes and the last ten minutes is really great if you’ve watched the entire thing—it shows a future where the people begin to revolt and leaders choose not to turn their weapons on the people, allowing a more sustainable world to evolve. 


A New Story for Humanity (2016) (102 min.)

This documentary is about storytelling and the very needed change in Western stories from stories that focus on using the world and independence to stories of interdependence and revering the natural world. In addition, initiation into adulthood and ecovillages are discussed. A group that is interested in the power of stories might find it useful. I would suggest that any discussion afterwards focus on the stories of participants and stories regarding the natural world. 

Links to the movie, advertising information and discussion questions are on this page- 

It does not look as though there is a fee for screening the movie, but the filmmakers would like comments on the movie after watching. 


Feeding Ourselves (2017) (96 min.)

This movie is about small produce and meat farmers in Canada. It focuses on their struggles (primarily political and economic) and their love of their work and the land. It would be good for groups that are considering where their food comes from, purchasing locally made goods, and who want to understand more about the issues small farmers face. 

Potential partners include CSA farmers, the farmers from Bright Ide Acres (a local sustainable meat producer), and the folks from 21 Acres. for the link. $130 for up to 50 people, $230 for audiences of up to 100 people, $330 for audiences over 100.

Activities after viewing might include a panel discussion or giving out information on local CSAs. 


Tomorrow: Take Concrete Steps To A Sustainable Future (2015) (120 min.)

This movie documents agricultural, educational, financial, transportation, and energy solutions for climate change. It’s inspirational and far-reaching. It would be good for groups that are considering ways that they can lower greenhouse gases as a community (city, county, and state levels). 

Potential partners could include Mike from Cascadia Edible Landscapes, a local elected official, any solar/wind/geothermal installer, a transportation or bike program organizer from the city, a farmer from 21 Acres to discuss food forests/food planting in the state, or someone from the local electricity producer (Seattle City Light, Snohomish County PUD, etc.). 

I rented this video on Vimeo for $5. Here’s a link- Here is a screening guide that includes more information about the film- 


Singapore: Biophilic City-I would not suggest this movie. It is a field trip to Singapore to look at their focus on plants and animals. While it was interesting to a nerd like me, it wasn’t terribly compelling in a general sense. 


Within Reach (2012) (139 min.) 

This movie is about a couple that bikes to 100 different communities throughout the U.S. in order to choose the perfect community for themselves. They learn about sustainability, spirituality and community. I would suggest it for groups considering increasing community in their lives. Potential partners could include members of local cohousing communities and people from the Transition Towns Network. 


The Nature of Cities (2010) (39 min.)

I would not suggest this movie.


In Transition: A Story of Resilience and Hope in Extraordinary Times (2012) (66 min.) 

This movie is about the Transition Network communities throughout the world. These communities are working towards making a more local, more sustainable economy. I would suggest this movie for any group interested in local economies. Potential partners could include members of Transition Seattle ( 

All links to the movie led me back to a YouTube link where the movie is screened for free- 


Communities of Hop: Discovering the Ecovillages of Europe

I would not suggest this movie because other movies cover the topic better.


Inner Climate Change

I would not suggest this movie—it just didn’t speak to me or draw my attention enough to suggest it as a movie for others. 


Rundown Apartments Reborn as Food-Forest Coliving Agritopia (20210 (55 min.)

This is a deep dive field trip to a Portland, OR community that turned its parking lot into a food forest. The movie delves into some of the more experimental projects in the community, including human waste composting, water gardens, home energy production, and urban farming. The movie might be better for audiences with a prior introduction to sustainability—it goes deeper into showing the systems that might be needed to live off the land. 

This movie might be interesting to groups who are looking at different ways of living and/or living lighter on the land. Partners might include 21 Acres (where they do similar farming experimentation), Farmer Frog (they do rain gardens), or members of a local cohousing community. 

I found this movie on YouTube and wasn’t able to find a link to the producers/payment/advertising materials. 


The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Loved: Creating a Tranformative Culture (2020) (36 min.)

This movie is about an ecovillage design program that has a goal of creating a better world. It follows six students as they learn about deep sustainability. It discusses climate grief and apathy, working within community, and transforming the self in order to show up for community. It would be a good movie for an already-formed or forming intentional community, but is also useful for groups wanting to look at the personal qualities it takes to work together in the future.  Potential partners might include spiritual leaders and memners of cohousing and intentional communities. 

This movie is on the Films for Action website- 

The movie makers don’t charge a fee but are interested in donations. The link to donations is- 


Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future (2018) (85 min.)

This movie looks at solutions to climate change and life in the future. It focuses on lowering our energy usage, CSAs and regenerative farming, local currency, zero waste and composting, and looks at why and how we got ourselves into our current social and energy-related situation. Potential partners might include CSA farmers, workers from the local electrical company (particularly, workers who focus on saving energy), and workers from Zero Waste Washington.

Link to the movie- 

Link to fees- 


The Third Industrial Revolution: A Radical New Sharing Economy (2018) (105 min.)

I would not suggest this movie. It’s in a lecture format and loses the viewer quickly.


Beyond Elections: Redefining Democracy in the Americas (2008) (95 min.)-

This movie isn’t about ecology/climate change—it’s about participatory democracy, so I didn’t finish it.


What’s a Colloquium? An Oral History of the Natural Building Movement (2020) (76 min.)

I loved this movie, but probably it’s because I’m a geek for natural building methods. It’s a movie about many natural building methods—cob, straw bale, earth bag buildings, etc., and about an annual colloquium of builders. A couple of these builders are from Skagit County and near Cottage Grove, OR. Potential partners could include Sunray Kelley (a natural builder with beautiful buildings in Sedro Woolley) or Ianto Evans (from Cottage Grove—he also knows a great deal about rocket stoves, a method of heating that re-burns soot produced in a wood stove). Either one of these people is knowledgeable about the movement and could speak about many different methods of building naturally and whether they would/how to make them work in the PNW. This movie is good for groups interested in living differently in the future, in particularly those who are interested in community and living lightly on the land. 

Information for watching the movie is at 


India’s Healing Forests: Come Home, Be Healed (2019) (51 min.)

This movie is about the healing nature of forestry on humans at any age. It outlines the benefits of forests for children, young adults, growing adults and seniors. It would be a good movie for a group fighting to protect forests or for folks looking into the benefits of planting trees. While it doesn’t mention the many benefits to earth, it does look into psychological benefits for people. Good partners might include psychologists, students and teachers from wilderness schools, and faculty from the forestry department at a local university. 

Link to the movie and to advertising materials- 


A Convenient Truth: Urban Solutions from Curitiba, Brazil (2006) (51 min.)

This is a film about a Brazilian city that planned around people, not cars. It outlines the specific tactics that city officials took to make their city pedestrian and people friendly. In addition, it describes ways that city planners encouraged recycling and entrepreneurialism in the favelas (areas where people live in substandard housing). It is an older movie and at times it gets a little wonky—it seems written for people who are already interested in and knowledgeable of city planning, but if a group has shown interest in specific solutions regarding transportation, it could be a good choice. 

Cost-$4-no payment amount for group showing- 


Prout: Economic Democracy in Practice (2004) (30 min.)

This video describes an economic theory, PROUT. The ideas are interesting, but the movie itself feels old. It’s a short explanation of the principles of this economic theory. I’m not aware of any potential partners for this movie. Here is more information about PROUT-

Link to film- 


Fantastic Fungi (2019) (80 min.)

This beautiful movie is about the many things mushrooms can teach us and do for us. I would highly recommend it both for the visual experience and the information it gives. Potential partners could include a mushroomer from Northwest Mushroomers Association or the Puget Sound Mycological Society. 

Link to movie- $5 to rent, no information on film rights. 


Kiss the Ground (2020) (87 min.) 

This is an excellent movie about ways that agricultural soil practices can slow climate change. I would highly recommend it to groups that are interested in either agriculture or in climate change mitigation. Potential partners might include no-till farmers, the National Resources Conservation Service (they may have a no-till educator who can come to your screening), and speakers from your local conservation district. 


No screening fee


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