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Film Critics Pick Best Climate Change Movies

It’s not just documentaries that tackle issues of climate change

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Genre filmmaking can tackle serious issues in unexpected ways. Here are some films outside of documentaries that explore climate change.

Aired: July 3, 2019 | Transcript

Photo credit: Universal

Bruce Dern stars an an astronaut in charge of preserving earth's last forests on a spaceship in "Silent Running," screening at 7:30 p.m., July 8, at Digital Gym Cinema.

Climate change movies

Beth Accomando's top picks

"Silent Running" (1972)

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" (2012)

"Snowpiercer" (2013)

Yazdi Pithavala's top picks

"Melancholia" (2011)

"Take Shelter" (2011)

"Mad Max: Fury Road" (2015)

Genre filmmaking can tackle serious issues in unexpected ways. Here are some films outside of documentaries that explore climate change.

There are plenty of documentaries about climate change — "An Inconvenient Truth," "Before the Flood," "11th Hour," "Chasing Ice" — and all these try to build a case to convince people that climate change is real and requires attention. But documentaries often are seen as having distinct points of view that can limit their audience and end up just preaching to the converted.

That's where genre films may have an advantage in reaching a larger audience with a message. A film like "The Day After Tomorrow" may just be a ridiculous disaster film without much science to it yet the impressive images of a new ice age can stir the imaginations of people to contemplate what if. It's that power of a narrative film with its engaging characters and cinematic magic that can pull an audience in and sometimes get them to think about serious ideas while they are being entertained.

Moviewallas' film critic Yazdi Pithalvala joins me to talk about climate change movies.

You can find most of our selections streaming on various services but you can catch "Silent Running" on the big screen as part of Visions of Science Fiction, a year-long film series I co-host with Film Geeks SD at Digital Gym Cinema at 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 8.

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