Nine great environmental movies you may not know, but should see

By Brett Kessler
Green Right Now

The last five years have seen a dramatic spike in the popularity of movies with green themes. More than ever before, cinemagoers are flocking to theaters to learn more about the planet and the way we’re shaping it.

But environmentally conscious movies are not a recent phenomenon. Some of the most potent screen statements about man’s relationship with his world were made decades ago. Others slipped under the radar and have never attracted the wide audience they deserve.

From Microcosmos to Koyaanisqatsi, here are nine environmental movies from around the globe that you may have missed  – but will  find just as intriguing as Avatar or An Inconvenient Truth.


Koyaanisqatsi – the title is a Hopi word meaning “life out of balance” –  is one of the most famous art movies ever made. A montage of beautiful slow-motion and time-lapse photography set to a mesmerizing score by Philip Glass, the film allows viewers to contemplate the way humans relate to nature and technology. It spawned two sequels – Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi – and was added to the National Film Registry. Filmmaker Godfrey Reggio made Koyaanisqatsi (pronounced KOY-ah-nis-KAHT-see) in 1982. Francis Ford Coppola held the film in such high regard that he allowed his name to be added as executive producer.

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