History of environmental fil

Habib Habibi


English 1A


Impact of Environmental Films on Environment

The world today is challenged by the effects of environmental degradation. It is also impacted by the effects of economic growth in the face of poverty. These problems are directly connected to the conservation and promotion of life supporting frameworks like land, water and air. The major triggers of environmental degradation including industrialization, growth in population, changes in the patterns of consumption and poverty which poses threat to the dynamic balance which could exist between the ecosystems on one hand and the people on the other (Laura & Marianne 237). In order to tackle these issues and concerns, environmental awareness for sustainable development has become a major tool in motivating people to conserve the natural environment. There are different ways that have been used to increase awareness regarding environmental conservation. One of them is environmental films.

On this paper I will analyzes the impact of environmental movies on the environment. The focus will be on environmental films. What are they? What is their impact on the environment? What can be done for promote their role in environmental conservation? These are the main questions of the research. I will definitely add other questions as I proceed and obtain more clarity on the topic.

It is expected from the literature review I had done that I will learn much. One is the expectation that some research and practice in environmental studies will be challenged. The paper should examine different circumstances in which environmental films impact the environment.

Narrative film in this regard remains an important medium which has the ability to not only reach but impact a wide range of people on issues that have to do with the environment (Bahk 1). The focus of environmental movies is to tell a story that is rarely covered by most movies (Corbett 129). They are always centered on the challenges that face the earth. These films portray images of everything that has gone wrong in the world and ways that can be used to make it a better place both for the current and future generations. . Most of these movies are not made for the box office to bring the highest net gross; they are made to bring awareness to people in the world in a new way that can have the highest level of impact. As a matter of fact, good environmental films provide a passionate response among the viewers. It makes them get out of their comfort zones and see what they could do make the world a better place. According to Murray and Heumann (p.15), the rhetorical ability of environmental films not only depends on the audience who just offer the resources which might be exploited in the process of persuasion, rather depends on an audience that is largely involved in judgment and action.

Environmental films have been around for some time meaning that the concept is not new. From early days of 1943 where Walt Disney released “The Winged Scourge” which explained ongoing debated in the environmental humanities on the resilience of nature and the ability of human beings to adapt to their environments to the “American Conservation Film Festival” that provides a wide range of environmental films to improve awareness, environmental films have played a huge role in historical discussions. The only difference today is that more emphasis is placed on these films even as people become increasingly aware of the threats posed by climate change, global warming and the impacts of greenhouse gases. With the assistance of environmental films, people have something to base their initiatives so as to change their lifestyles. Introducing change to each area of life implies a healthier and improved lifestyle (Laura & Marianne 237). It also means a safer planet for the future generations. Failure to embrace the change only implies leaving the world in a worse state compared to what it is at the moment. All the initiatives based on technological advancements have worked to endanger the world and its inhabitants. On the global arena, change is obviously important without which human activities would destroy every living thing with time.

However, it has never been easy for most of the people to accept change. Moreover, in my researches I came across some people who are skeptics; People who do not believe that the current advancements have caused any destruction on earth. Then there comes environmental films which present a completely different story. They present the numerous ways through which human initiatives have altered the earth today. Therefore, the question that begs in this dispensation is how best to change people’s actions and make them participate in the development of their planet (Laura & Marianne 237).

One of the challenges that I am faced is to find creditable resources that are neutral to the both sides of the story and to explain the situations in a level that is understandable. In other words, finding academic primary resources is my biggest challenge. For my secondary resources I will use movies that are orbiting around an environmental issue. There are several good films which have worked to raise awareness on environmental issues. The films as a matter of fact have brought these issues to the attention of the people besides creating awareness of the rising challenges and threats. For instance, the ‘War Horse’ is a film that emphasizes the need to conserve a Devon horse in France during the WWI. It analyzes people relationships with the environment in different ways (Murray & Heumann 6). Most important is that it is effectively shows the connection that exists between humans on one hand and the natural world on the other, with its emphasis on the connection between the horse and the owner. In addition, the scenes, prior to, during and following the battles show the major repercussions of modern warfare for individuals, animals and even the natural world. This is a devastating environmental and human disaster which goes to show that the war has taken a lot from the people and the environment (Murray & Heumann 6). There is also the movie ‘Avatar’ which presents some environmental concerns by demonstrating greedy people could be as humans. The film shows that people only want things for themselves and seek to take things away from those who cannot safeguard themselves (Fritz 67). There are other environmental films and documentaries that have reiterated the need for environmental conservation. However, to sum them all is the film ‘The Day After Tomorrow.’ The movie demonstrates different environmental concerns. Moreover, it highlights the effects that may occur in the event that there was major global warming caused by a chain of strange weather patterns. The film looks at the manner in which the skeptics opt to sit back, and in so doing have allowed the change to occur (Nisbet). The main message in this film and others is that by choosing to do nothing, nature will triumph in the end.

            A literature review is conducted for this research. In this regard, I analyzed evidence of the previous material on the same subject. I will gradually develop and analyze questions which need further investigation. This approach provides the flexibility needed to move in new directions even as more details and understanding of relevant issues is acquired.

I established that environmental conservation is a bone of contention in the world today. With the rapid climate change, it has become important to increase awareness among the people as regards the importance of preserving the environment. This has been achieved different ways. However, I believe that the role played by environmental films in fulfilling this agenda has been apparent. When one leaves the movie theatre, he or she recognizes that he or she has just watched an intriguing film given that it has made them happy, sad, fearful or excited. However, there is another kind of emotion which could be brought out in an individual. This is a feeling which leaves people asking questions on how to boost their efforts towards environmental conservation. Environmental films not only provide entertainment rather present a powerful message that has to be shared.

In conclusion, it is clear that environmental conservation is a bone of contention in the world today. With the rapid climate change, it has become important to increase awareness among the people as regards the importance of preserving the environment. To sum up, in this research I will explore the impacts of environmental films on environment, and I will show how each movie impacts on people. In this research I will answer to the question that where it all started? I research the history of environmental movies, and answer to the question that how it all started, and where it’s all going. I will analyze movies that have environmental subjects. I will research debates between skeptical and believers which includes actors, producers, and activists on both sides. As a result of my research, I am hoping to stablish an argument regarding environmental issues that can be solved or be awareness about it can be raised by the help of movies.




Works Cited

Bahk, Mo. “Environmental Education through Narrative Films: Impact of Medicine Man on Attitudes toward Forest Preservation.” The Journal of Environmental Education, Volume 42.1(2010): 1-13.

Corbett, Julia. Communicating Nature: How We Create and Understand Environmental Messages. New York: Island Press, 2011.

Fritz, Justin. “Environmentalism and the “Ecological Indian” in Avatar: A Visual Analysis.” The Arbutus Review, 3.1(2012): 67-90.

Laura, Galen and Marianne, Krasny. Outdoor Adventure Education: Applying Transformative Learning Theory to Understanding Instrumental Learning and Personal Growth in Environmental Education. The Journal of Environmental Education, 42.4(2011): 237-254

Murray, Robin and Heumann, Joseph. Film and Everyday Eco-disasters. U of Nebraska Press, 2014

Nisbett, Matt. Can a Blockbuster Film Shape the Public’s Understanding of a Science Controversy? 2015. Web. 7 Feb. 2016. <http://www.csicop.org


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