ISEC ‘Films for Change’ list

A list of movies suggested by International Society for Ecology and Culture‘s ‘Roots of Change‘ study-group curriculum:


Adam Curtis films:

The Century of the Self

The Power of Nightmares

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dreams of Freedom?

A riveting series of films exposing, among many other things, the power of media and propaganda to manipulate (available for viewing at:

Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh – Thought-provoking look at the effects of so-called development on a historically sustainable, land-based culture; relevant to many other peoples and areas (

Baraka – Montage of unforgettable images; a collage of life in all its beauty and brutality (; available for viewing at:

Captialism: A Love Story – Michael Moore’s latest feature takes a piercing look at the ‘mother of all problems’ (

Dennis O’Rourke films:

Cannibal Tours – “Affords a glimpse at the real (mostly unconsidered or misunderstood) reasons why ‘civilised’ people wish to encounter the ‘primitive’. The situation is that shifting terminus of civilisation, where modern mass-culture grates and pushes against those original, essential aspects of humanity; and where much of what passes for values in western culture is exposed in stark relief as banal and fake. (

Yap: How Did They Know We’d Like TV? – “A witty and disturbing view of cultural imperialism at its most cynical and blatant – a compelling melange of unsettling images of natives living in tin shacks drinking beer and staring at shiny new TV screens, while advertisements for hair-remover, candy bars and air-conditioning float incongruously through the steamy jungle.” (

Erwin Wagenhofer films:

Let’s Make Money – Eerie truths about the casino called the international financial system (

We Feed the World – Traces the sources of some of the industrial food system in Europe, making the links to environmental destruction and injustice ‘somewhere else’ along the way (

Exporting Harm: The High-Tech Trashing of Asia – Find out the toxic reality of where your old electronics go after you take them for ‘recycling’ or throw them out; a film by the Basel Action Network (

Fed Up! – An entertaining and informative overview of our current food production system from the Green Revolution to the Biotech Revolution and what we can do about it (

Food, Inc. – Exposes America’s industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers’ rights. “You’ll never look at dinner the same way” (

Fowl Play – Expose of the industrial egg industry and the suffering it entails; a parable of how society has become disconnected from what we eat (

Fourth World War – A story of men and women around the world who resist being annihilated by globalization (; available for viewing at:

Garbage: The Revolution Starts at Home – A typical Canadian family agrees to keep its garbage at home rather than export it ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Shows the true hidden costs of the consumer class lifestyle (

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (available for viewing at:

Harsud: Making of a Ghost Town – The socio-cultural costs paid by local communities in Maharashtra, India, in the name of “development” (

Home – Spectacular aerial footage of the Earth shot in fifty countries by Yann Arthus-Bertrand; a clarion call for humanity to become aware of the full extent of its spoliation of the Earth and change its patterns of consumption ( (available for viewing at:

Johan Soderberg films:

Surplus – The emptiness of consumerism in the rich world juxtaposed with the suffering to create it in the poor

The Planet – A powerful portrait of the devastating effects of the global economy on the environment worldwide


John de Graaf films:

Affluenza – On the ‘ailment’ of consumerism  (

What’s the Economy For, Anyway?

John and Jane – Unsettling look at the reality of call centers – and cultural imperialism – in India, and modernity’s profound loneliness and confusion (

King Corn – About two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives the U.S. fast-food nation. Raises troubling questions about how we eat – and how we farm (

Life and Debt – A story of some of the impacts on Jamaica of international financial institutions, structural adjustment and free trade policies, and mass tourism (

Manufactured Landscapes – A stunning look at the ‘monstrosity of globalized commerce’ focussing on China (

Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media – Unforgettable look at the information propaganda machine and its complicity in wars and other disasters, by the same people who later made The Corporation (

Mother Earth – The amazing work of P.V. Sateesh and the Deccan Development Society to revive traditional agro-ecological knowledge, seeds and practices in Andhra Pradesh (no website information available)

No Impact Man – A New York City-based family resolve to live for a year with the minimum environmental impact (

1000 Days and a Dream – A multi-year struggle by villagers against a coca cola factory in Kerala) (

Our Daily Bread – A montage of unforgettable, disturbing images of the inner workings of the industrial food system (

Our Synthetic Sea – The health and environmental crisis of plastics, saturating the oceans, sea life, and ultimately, us (

Paradise With Side Effects – Two Ladakhi women visit London on a “reality tour” to see what life in the West is really like (

Pig Business – The true cost behind the factory-farmed pork in supermarkets, who’s behind it, and what you can do about it (

Schooling the World: The White Man’s Last Burden – Using Ladakh as a case study, an poignant indictment of the nefarious effects of Western-style schooling on indigenous cultures (

The Age of Stupid – An old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watches ‘archive’ footage from 2008 and asks: why didn’t we stop climate change while we had the chance?  (

The Coconut Revolution – When the islanders of Bouganville kick out a multinational mining company, they undertake to rediscover their traditions and regenerate their local economy (available for viewing online:

The Corporation – An unflinching anatomy of the most powerful institution of our time; essential viewing (

The End of Poverty? – “The first film to succinctly explain how our economic system has created poverty and why it is the foundation for the current financial crisis” (

The Future of Food – On the perils of industrial food system generally, but especially about genetically mutilated foods (

The 11th Hour (Industrial capitalism has brought every life-support system on Earth to the brink of collapse. A broad-ranging examination of this, the most pressing crisis of our times. Weak on solutions, but otherwise quite powerful (; available for viewing at:

The End of Suburbia – On the ‘peak oil’ phenomenon and all its implications to survival of oil dependent industrial ‘civilization’(

The Global Banquet: Politics of Food – Exposes globalization’s profoundly damaging effect on our food system in easily understandable terms (

The New Rulers of the World – Renowned journalist John Pilger explores the connection between oppressive regimes and corporate globalization in Indonesia (

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil (an inspiring and solutions-oriented film that’s especially good to show after End of Suburbia)

The Slow Poisoning of India – On the devastating health effects of pesticides in India (available for viewing at:

The Take – Workers in Argentina dispossessed by the vicissitudes of ‘structural adjustment’ decide to ‘take’ back their workplaces, minus bosses and hierarchy (

The War on Democracy – John Pilger’s look at the movements for genuine democracy in Latin America, and the imperial forces that oppose them (; available for viewing at:

In the Forest Stands a Bridge – A beautiful record of the dying art of bamboo bridge making in Arunachal Pradesh, India,  and the tribal community that makes it possible (

The World According to Monsanto – Investigative expose of the notorious chemical-biotech poisoner (available for viewing at:

The Yes Men, and sequel, The Yes Men Fix the World – Hilarious yet serious pranksterism against corporate power run amok (

What Would Jesus Buy? – Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping take on America’s suicidal consumer binge during the Christmas holiday ‘shopping season’ (


Links to some good online videos:

On food sovereignty:

Shibu’s anti-landfill video:

On GMOs:

Bill Moyer’s interviews of Sheldon Wolin

part 2:

The Story of Stuff:

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