Five European documentaries that question our planet's past, present and future

People have lost their connection with nature and this could bring about the destruction of our planet. Is there any hope for humanity? These European documentaries may help you find the answer:

Population Boom by Werner Boote (2013)

A smart and intelligent documentary by Austrian director Werner Boote - known for Plastic Planet – that addresses the consequences of population growth, as the Earth’s population reaches seven billion. In an accessible and entertaining way, Boote asks if dwindling resources, mountains of toxic waste, hunger and climate change are the result of overpopulation. The film will be available from May 2 via Walk this Way’s Docs from around the world collection.

Energized by Hubert Canaval (2014)

Energized is a documentary from Austrian filmmaker Hubert Canaval, this time discussing nuclear disasters, wars over oil and gas, climate change and ever-increasing energy consumption. Is it possible to meet our energy needs without destroying our own existence? Is clean energy a realistic alternative? Using simple language, the documentary brings an insight to green resources and their potential. The film will be available from 2 May via Walk this Way’s Docs from around the world collection.

CERN by Nikolaus Geyrhalter (2013)

CERN is a stunning documentary by multi-awarded, yet another Austrian director Nikolaus Geyrhalter, who takes audiences inside the immense CERN – the European Council for Nuclear Research – apparatus. Interviews with experts, who devised and operate this gigantic Big Bang machine, and the stunning scenography combine to make the film’s approach to science and the birth of our planet beautiful and philosophical. Nikolaus Geyrhalter is the author of the acclaimed documentary films Washed Ashore, Our Daily Bread, Abendland, and Homo Sapiens, which premiered at the this year’s Berlinale. CERN will be available from 2 May via Walk this Way’s Docs from around the world collection.

Fossil Free (VPRO Backlight) by Martijn Kieft (2015)

Fossil Free is a documentary by Dutch filmmaker Martijn Kieft about a growing group of citizens, which no longer has any faith in that way politicians are handling climate change - their focus being the financial sector, given that investing in coal, oil and gas not only causes temperatures to rise, but it also involves substantial financial risk. Through campaigns and conversations with pensioners and supervisors, the fossil free activists are trying to urge companies to pull large sums out of investments responsible for high carbon emissions. VPRO Backlight follows activists and stock traders, in search of the benefit and necessity of this new way of campaigning. You can watch Fossil Free online here.

Planet Ocean by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot (2012)

Planet Ocean is a documentary by noted environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photographer, journalist, and reporter, known for his book Earth from Above (1999)and his films Home (2009) and Human (2015) and Michael Pitiot, French screenwriter and film director. The film looks at the planet as one ecosystem, in which life is intrinsically interconnected, and tells the sad story of the ocean, easily exploited, given that no one actually owns it. Stunning visuals and intelligent narrative are a deep reflection on how humanity is destroying its own planet.

30 April 2016, by Cineuropa