Sundance environmental films: climate change

From Copenhagen to cable news channels, most of the arguments surrounding global warming, and, more specifically, government responses to it, involve economic growth. These arguments often fail to miss the broader human costs that people around the globe are already experiencing as a result of a warming climate. Michael Nash’s CLIMATE REFUGEES brings these stories to the forefront: the rising seas that may engulf the island nation of Tuvalu, droughts and extreme storms in Africa and Asia, and rapid desertification in China.

The result of two years of traveling to locations around the globe feeling the heat from global warming, CLIMATE REFUGEES combines on-the-ground coverage with commentary from “the victims of climate change, politicians, scientists, relief organizations, and authors.” If you’re feeling disillusioned after the foot-dragging by world leaders, this may be just the film to rekindle your passion for action on global warming.

Of course, Nash’s film isn’t the first to address climate change at Sundance. A couple of others that have contributed to the dialogue on this topic:

  • EVERYTHING’S COOL (2007): The creators of another Sundance classic, BLUE VINYL, examine the debate over climate change by profiling activists such as Bill McKibben and Ross Gelbspan, as well as the “corporate spinmeisters and recalcitrant politicians” that insist the science behind climate change is still unsettled. As with their earlier film, Daniel B. Gold and Judith Helfand combine humor and insight into this documentary.
  • AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH (2006): That’s right… the film that made Al Gore a movie star, and PowerPoint an artistic medium, had its world premiere at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH likely did more than any other cultural artifact to ignite the popular debate over climate change, and made Gore the point person of climate activism (as well as a lightening rod for criticism from skeptics… or deniers, if you prefer). Regardless of the brouhaha, Davis Guggenheim’s film is informative and moving, and well worth watching… or re-watching.

CLIMATE REFUGEES debuts at Park City on Saturday, January 23rd (that’s right… this Saturday). If you make it then, or to one of the other four festival screenings, come back and let us know what you thought.

Image credit: CLIMATE REFUGEES official site