6 films about climate and activism

Amsterdam, 29-01-2024

The film screenings of Deep Rising in our On Tour programme are over. Want to see more films on this topic after On Tour? Check out our tips!

Deep Rising depicts the adverse impact of deep-sea mining on our environment, ecosystems, and various Indigenous communities. The narrative unfolds as a captivating exploration of the geopolitical, corporate, and scientific forces at play in the extensive extraction of metals from the ocean floor, which are considered essential to meet the demand for current electric battery technology. As extractive conglomerates shift their investments from oil and gas to deep-sea mining, Deep Rising prompts reflection on why we don’t prioritize the development of abundant resources to address our growing energy needs. The film serves as a poignant reminder that the seabed is the shared heritage of humanity, emphasizing the urgent need to make responsible decisions for future generations.

The tension between economic interests and those advocating for environmental protection is central in Deep Rising. Over the years, Movies that Matter has screened numerous films addressing climate issues and activism. Through compelling stories and visually striking narratives, these films explore the complexity of the struggle against powerful corporate interests. From the front lines of protests to the heart of ancient landscapes, the camera becomes an instrument to capture both the devastations caused by climate change and the indomitable spirit of those determined to protect their land.

We have compiled a list of films that have been featured in one of our festival editions, addressing the subjects of climate and activism from various contexts and countries. The films in this list challenge us to reflect, urging us to question our role in the ongoing struggle for a sustainable future and ultimately calling us to action in the face of one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Anote’s Ark

Matthieu Rytz | Vimeo on Demand | MtMF18

In Oceania, situated in one of the world’s remotest locations, the island nation of Kiribati faces serious jeopardy: the lives of people and animals are threatened by the rapidly rising sea levels caused by climate change. President Tong is engaged in a race against the clock to bring his people to safety.

The Borneo Case

Erik Pauser, Dylan Williams | Vimeo on Demand | MtMF17

Poignant documentary about how the world’s oldest rainforest has been felled piece by piece to make way for dams and palm oil plantations. The filmmakers filmed the clearcutting over a period of 25 years and followed activist Mutang during that time. He grew up in the jungle and has campaigned for years against the logging and the corrupt government of Malaysia.

How to Blow Up a Pipeline

Daniel Goldhaber | PiclGoogle Play | MtMF23

A group of young environmental activists, all with very different stories, prepare to blow up a Texas oil pipeline. A nail-biting, ingenuously constructed thriller by director Daniel Goldhaber. Based on Andreas Malm’s controversial non-fiction book of the same name, which describes sabotage as a necessary form of climate activism.

The Territory 

Alex Pritz | Disney+ | MtMF22

The small and shrinking indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people in the Amazon are threatened by land grabbers. They choose 18-year-old Bitaté as their leader, and together with activist Neidinha he is determined not to roll over. But when Jair Bolsonaro becomes president, the forces attacking them get free reign.

Thank you for the Rain

Julia Dahr | Thank you for the Rain.com | MtMF18

Five years ago, Kenyan farmer Kisilu started documenting his life with the camera he had been given by Norwegian filmmaker Julia Dahr. The result is a remarkable documentary about the consequences of climate change in his environment.

Uma: A Water Crisis In Bolivia

Ana Llacer | Vimeo On Demand | MtMF21

Three indigenous communities in the Bolivian highlands take on the mining companies polluting their water. They demand compensation and full information, but the miners have the government’s backing and can operate with apparent impunity. A story of resistance, courage, and the fight for environmental justice.

*Some films may not be available through the links above if you are outside the Netherlands.