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6 documentaries on climate education



“Climate education is an essential part of fighting the climate crisis, but it still isn’t prioritized by our education systems,” said environmental activist and Extinction Rebellion Philippines’ national coordinator Tara Santos. “It can be intimidating to start your own research on climate change, so here is a compilation of documentaries and films that definitely helped me with my own research.”

Blackfish (2013)

In 1983, an orca, later named Tilikum, was captured off the coast of Iceland. It was eventually brought to the theme park SeaWorld Orlando. During captivity, Tilikum was involved in the deaths of three people. Blackfish uses Tilikum’s story to highlight the psychological damage and trauma wild animals suffer while in captivity. Forced to continuously breed and then separated from their offspring, they are potentially led to unnatural aggression.

 An Inconvenient Truth: Truth to Power (2017)

This is a sequel to the seminal documentary An Inconvenient Truth. It is best to watch the films together to see how much has changed for the better in some ways, and how little has changed in others between the release of the two films. Truth to Power film chronicles American vice president Al Gore’s continuing mission to educate people about climate change, de-bunking misinformation and climate change deniers, culminating in the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016. 

Chasing Coral (2017)

A Netflix original documentary is about the divers and scientists documenting the disappearance of coral reefs and the spread of coral bleaching around the world. While only making up one percent of the world’s oceans, coral reefs support an immense amount of biodiversity and are critical as buffers for shorelines during storms, preventing coastal erosion, something we Filipinos should invest time in understanding and protecting.

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (2018)

The documentary, narrated by Alica Vikander, explores this concept of the “Anthropocene.” The Anthropocene is the proposed geological epoch or time when the natural Earth and its ecosystems started to become significantly impacted by humans and human activity. It generally includes but is not limited to, the anthropogenic, or human-caused, climate change we are currently experiencing.

Our Planet (2019)

In this Netflix documentary series narrated by Sir David Attenborough, each episode brings viewers to the Earth’s most important habitats, from our coastal seas to our high seas, from our jungles to our forests. “We will reveal what must be preserved if we are to ensure a future where humans and nature can thrive,” said Attenborough on the series.

Climate Change: The Facts (2019)

Another Sir David Attenborough documentary, Climate Change does not downplay climate change, “our greatest threat in thousands of years.” A slew of experts is brought before a camera to break down the all-too-real facts not only about what we are currently experiencing but the consequences of human activity on human activity if we do not change our ways. The silver lining that the documentary presents is that there may still be time for us to save our planet, but we must act now.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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