The Green Screen: Staff Picks of Inspiring Films


We turn to films for entertainment, but also for information and inspiration. A film can provide an escape from reality, but it can also provide an emotional connection for the viewer. After the recent release of Chris Paine's "Revenge of the Electric Car," a sequel to his groundbreaking "Who Killed the Electric Car?," we were inspired to ask staff members to reflect on the green films that have informed us, angered us, and ultimately influenced us and guided us in doing the work we do.

Chinatown (1974)

"In a movie filled with personal scandals, murder, and deception, it's thrilling to watch Jack Nicholson's detective character uncover a corrupt scheme to control the city's water supply." -- Stef

Erin Brockovich (2000)

" 'Erin Brockovich' highlights the connection between the environment and human well-being, both physical and emotional, in a bittersweet and complex way. It does a great job of showing that environmental efforts aren't about preserving an aesthetic -- they are about protecting quality of life." -- Lily

Fuel (2008)

"This film had quite an effect on me being that I was raised in a rural Louisiana town and being able to literally attest to the material that was used in the film." -- Jon

Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War (2007)

"This award-winning documentary film by Alice and Lincoln Day is about our deep dependence on the natural world and the significant threat posed by war and preparations for war. (I'm also interviewed in it.)" -- Paul

Soylent Green (1973)

"Classic Charlton Heston pic with over-the-top acting and a fun sci-fi premise that shows a dire scenario where people are forced to eat people (unknowingly) to survive (and encourage euthanasia to keep food supply abundant)." -- Ruben

WALL-E (2008)

"It shows what we've become as a society of people who are over-consuming and over-indulging -- and what the Earth would look like if we continue on our path." -- Vanessa

Waste Land (2010)

"Director Lucy Walker (friend and GG supporter) captures the beauty -- yes, beauty -- of the world's largest trash city, Rio de Janeiro. It truly is a captivating documentary about art, waste, recycling, and humanity." -- Sarah

Even more great green films favored by our staff members:

Carbon Nation (2011)

Fern Gully (1992)

Free Willy (1993)

Gasland (2010)

In Our Own Backyard (1982)

Island President (2011)

Koyaanisqatsi (1982)

Mindwalk (1990)

Princess Mononoke (1997)

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007)

Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)

The China Syndrome (1979)

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

The 11th Hour (2007)

The Inconvenient Truth (2006)