Chasing Ice – Documentary review

Stalking people around the world on Facebook, I stumbled upon a link which talked about some nice documentaries ( I knew stalking was always a great idea). When I opened the linked, one documentary – Chasing Ice was mentioned as one film ‘must be seen’.

It seemed like a good idea to see it since we all might have read the news that Paris Summit pledges are not enough. I must say, I am really happy I saw this documentary. First off, what an amazing majestic beauty of Ice. It looked so good. Just like ‘featured Image’ of this post. It kind of saddened by seeing how rapidly they are melting away. I read about it in newspaper but seeing a proper documentary made on it had a strong effect on me. It is horrific to see the Ice melting away like this.

James Balog goes across the Arctic as he deploys time-lapse cameras designed for one single purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. He put some 25 cameras in Greenland, Iceland,Montana & some in Alaska. The concept of ‘ancient air trapped as bubbles in the ice’ was amazing!

This documentary only lasts for 1 hour so please do not be lazy. Grab your healthy less fat popcorn and watch this brilliant documentary!

‘The 11th hour’ Documentary review!

I once wrote a post about the top 10 documentaries on Sustainability. I am going to write a review on one of those documentaries today.

The 11th hour The 11th Hour is a 2007 documentary film, created, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, on the state of the natural environment. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats were discussed in this documentary. I would recommend this to everyone.

My colleague Max wrote a post on Jared Diamond, in fact he was mentioned in this documentary too.

Diverse group of parties discuss about the current state of ecosystem including superstar physicist Stephen Hawking, environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken, former Soviet leader and founding president of Green Cross International Mikhail Gorbachev and even former CIA Director James Woolsey.

This documentary is serious and it starts with strong graphics of destruction or nature. They discuss the collapse of ecosystem at length and discuss about the possible solutions to avoid this destruction through technology, social responsibility and conservation. The documentary gives us the straight message from the beginning. We are in DEEP trouble in terms of our environment. Only negative thing which I found was too many interviews and too many footage like I mentioned before and less exploration in the field was a downer for me.

I would still recommend you to watch this. In March 2008, The 11th Hour, was awarded the Earthwatch Environmental Film Award

My Top 10 documentaries about Sustainability

In these summer holidays where I should be little bit focused on Maths ( I have one exam left in Sept.) all I do is watch Vikings. It is quite a show. Must watch.

Then I wondered that it’s been a while that I haven’t seen any documentary and to top that a friend of mine suggested to list top 10 documentaries which talk about Sustainability. Some of these I have seen it already, some I pledge to see soon.

The documentaries are not according to ranking. So the list goes like this

1) Food Inc.: Directed by an Emmy Robert Kenner, this documentary focuses on the condition of the American food system and industry. After watching this documentary, you might think twice what you eat. My personal favorite.

2) The 11th Hour – Produced and directed by actor Leonardo di Caprio. Global warming and human activity effects. Di Caprio tells us about those drastic solutions to restore ecosystems, and urges us to implement these measures as soon as possible. I need to see it.

3) Chasing Ice – Nearly 10 years ago, environmental photographer James Balog embarked on an arctic pilgrimage to gather real-time evidence of global warming in Iceland for National Geographic.

4) No Impact Man: Follow the Manhattan-based Beavan family as they abandon their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle and try to live a year while making no net environmental impact.

5) An Inconvenient truth: A documentary on Al Gore’s campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognized problem worldwide.

6) Cowspiracy : Another favorite of mine. I wrote a post on this documentary. Check it out.

7) Earthlings: Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, EARTHLINGS chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

8) Plastic Planet: Werner Boote presents an up-close and personal view of the controversial and fascinating material that has found its way into every facet of our daily lives: plastic. He takes us on a journey around the globe, showing that plastics have become a threat for both environment and human health.

9) Waste Land: On the outskirts of Rio de Janiro is Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill, where men and women sift through garbage for a living. Artist Vik Muniz produces portraits of the workers and learns about their lives.

10) The Age of Stupid : A future archivist looks at old footage from the year 2008 to understand why humankind failed to address climate change.

There are thousand’s of documentaries on Sustainability. I wish I could see all of them and talk about it with my friends or write it here. It would be so cool and nerdy!

Documentary Review – ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story’

Few days back I saw this amazing documentary called ‘Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story’. Why amazing? Because I really hate wasting food. Sometimes when I waste food ( could be because the food was overcooked till the colour black or I am really nervous). Yes, I am one of those whose appetite goes for a toss when I am sad or nervous.

I am an Indian so this subject of wasting food is also very close to heart( in a bad way). 40% of the food do not even reach the consumers in India because of bad cold storage in India.

You can read more about the cold storage problem on this article. It’s quite interesting and informative.

However, I would like to talk about the documentary.

The reviews are amazing so i am not going to say remarkably different from other reviews but we will soon find out what I really have to say.

The couple in this documentary ( the husband is the director of this documentary) take up the challenge of eating discarded food for 6 months.

They decide to quit grocery shopping and to survive only on discarded food. Before beginning to watch the documentary, i thought it might be related to people wasting food in restaurants but I was wrong. It’s related to how the supermarkets take only the ‘good looking food’ and rest of the food is thrown again. I can talk really in detail about this documentary but I do not wish to ruin the surprises and fun for you. Only thing I could say or to decide is to waste lesser food than before.

In fact, I just scanned my fridge to see which things I can eat before they expire ( apparently there were many).

While researching for this documentary, I also discovered that the couple has done a previous documentary related to waste food which I am going to see this week, I’m sure you will find about that soon.

Just one more interesting data, the couple only managed to spend less than $200 to buy some stuff and managed to find more than $20,000 for food. What and how they managed to find it, check out this interesting documentary. Totally recommendable.

Written by: Pushkar Sabharwal

The Nature of Cities – Documentary Review

How can we make the cities better than before, better workplaces, better schools… how can we immerse ourselves in nature everyday instead of thinking we have to get in SUV and drive 50 miles? There is no doubt that we need nature. It’s absolutely essential to daily life. We can find it in the cities where we live, it’s all around us if we look, but there are also many innovative ways in which nature can be designed into urban environments. These were the questions asked and statements delivered at the beginning of the documentary. My mother used to tell me when i was a kid that when i get tired of studying, i should sit under the tree for a while to relax ( i grew up in an Urban city called Delhi so having a tree around us was a luxury). But she was so right. Nothing makes one more relaxed than being in nature.  This is the main topic of this documentary, how to bring the nature back to the city and it shouldn’t be outside the city. The documentary is quite interesting even though at times i lost the interest here and there ( same old things in a different way) We see many countries trying to bring back the nature in the cities. Its impressive, very impressive but i feel more can be done than this.  Countries like USA,Denmark,Germany and Sweden have been trying to do this for a while and im very sure slowly we are going to see greener cities than before. Written by: Pushkar Sabharwal