Green Movies

By Eva Lewandowski

With the winter we’ve been having, sometimes it’s nice to stay home, cuddle up with a warm blanket, and watch a movie.  So what are some good movies with green themes?  Here are some of my favorites:

  • The American President:  Admittedly, this is mainly a romantic political drama, but Annette Benning plays an environmental lobbyist trying to convince the President to support a bill limiting carbon dioxide emissions.  It’s an interesting, if over-idealized look at environmental lobbying.  Add in Michael J. Fox, Martin Sheen, and Michael Douglas, and you’ve got a great movie.
  • Fly Away Home:  This is a sweet family-friendly movie about a little girl who rescues a clutch of goose eggs after a development project tears through the wetlands near her home.  She rears them and teaches them to fly.  It’s another movie with a terrific cast, since it stars Anna Paquin, Dana Delany, and Jeff Daniels.  Interestingly, it’s also loosely based on a true story.
  • Erin Brockovich:  This is the movie that won Julie Roberts an Oscar, and it’s also based on a true story.  Most people are at least a little familiar with the storyline, which focuses on a woman committed to finding out the truth about water pollution that has sickened and killed residents of a small town.
  • Free Willy:  We watched this in elementary school, and I remember being completely glued to the screen.  The movie tells the story of a little boy who wants to rescue a captive whale from a water park.  It’s a great lesson about animal rights and ethics for kids and adults.
  • Star Trek IV:  The Voyage Home:  One of my favorite Star Trek films and definitely the one most accessible to non-sci fi fans.  In this incredibly funny installment, Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew have to go back in time to the 1980s in order to save humpback whales from extinction.   It explores the potential risks of biodiversity loss and extinction from a very unique viewpoint, and it’s a great movie overall.

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