Sustainability Films Available for Checkout

2-Week Checkout for Classroom, Event or Home Viewing

These films were purchased by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative with grants from the Copper Country League of Women Voters (2012), Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (2011-12), and the Environmental Endowment of the Keweenaw Community Foundation (2013). Films may be used for educational purposes at no charge. Cosponsored by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Great Lakes Research Center, Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, and Keweenaw Land Trust

The Available Films

After Coal (60 min)
The film profiles individuals building a new future in the coalfields of central Appalachia and Wales. Both regions have survived disasters associated with mining, and each has explored strategies for honoring the past while looking to the future.
Bikes vs. Cars (90 min.)
Documents cyclists’ struggle in a society dominated by cars, from activists in Sao Paulo and Los Angeles fighting for safe bike lanes, to the city of Copenhagen where 40% commute daily by bike. Consider a future where cities make room for bicyclists.
Blue Gold: World Water Wars (90 min.)
Are we moving closer to a world in which water –a seemingly plentiful natural resource—could actually incite war? Corporate giants, private investors, and corrupt governments vie for control of our dwindling supply, prompting protests, lawsuits, and revolutions. Past civilizations have collapsed from poor water management. What lies ahead?
Build Green (43 min.)
A refreshing look at environmentally-smart building materials and practices that better protect against the elements while saving money and resources.
Carbon Nation (82 minutes)
A documentary about climate change SOLUTIONS. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how SOLUTIONS to climate change also address
other social, economic and national security issues.
Chasing Ice (76 min.)
Acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog ventures to the Arctic to document the melting of ice mountains using state-of-the-art time lapse photography, in order to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
Death by Design: The Dirty Story of our Digital Addiction
We love and live on smartphones, tablets and laptops. By 2020, four billion will have a personal computer and five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side. From factories in China, to high tech Silicon Valley, the film tells of environmental degradation, health impacts, and the approaching tipping point between consumerism and sustainability.
Feeding Frenzy: The Food Industry, Marketing & Creation of a Health Crisis (63 min.)
Obesity rates in the U.S. have more than doubled for children, tripled for adolescents, and 70% of adults are now obese or overweight resulting in many health problems. The film examine the role of the processed food industry and gov’t policies.
Food, Inc. (91 min.)
For most Americans, the ideal meal is fast, cheap, and tasty. Food, Inc. examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition and environmental impact. The film takes us into the slaughterhouses and factory farms where chickens grow too fast to walk properly and cows eat feed pumped with toxic chemicals, in order to produce cheap food.
Forks over Knives (96 min)
Two-thirds of us (U.S.) are overweight; diabetes is increasing, especially amongst children. Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the leading causes of death. Millions suffer from many other degenerative diseases. How does diet impact your health?
Fracknation (77 min.)
In FrackNation, journalist Phelim McAleer faces threats, cops and bogus lawsuits questioning green extremists for the truth about fracking. McAleer uncovers fracking facts suppressed by environmental activists, and he talks with rural Americans whose livelihoods are at risk if fracking is banned. Emotions run high but the truth runs deep.
Fuel (112 min.)
A shrinking economy, failing auto industry, high unemployment, out-of-control national debt, and an insatiable demand for energy weigh heavily on all of us. “Fuel” points the way out of this mess by explaining how to replace every drop of oil we now use, while creating green jobs and keeping our money here at home—-solutions within our reach.
Future of Food (88 min.)
Distills the complex technology and consumer issues surrounding major changes in the food system today — genetically engineered foods, patenting, and the corporatization of food — into terms the average person can understand. It empowers consumers to realize the consequences of their food choices on our future.
Gasland (100 min.)
The producer spent time with citizens in their homes and on their land in US communities impacted by natural gas drilling (fracking), as they relay stories of health problems potentially linked to contamination of air, water wells or surface water. Includes interviews with scientists, politicians, and gas industry executives.
Green Fire (56 min.)
Highlights Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped the modern environmental movement. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences through photographs, correspondence, archival documents, historical film and fullcolor footage on location. Features commentary and insight from leading scholars, Leopold’s children, writers, scientists, and public policy and business leaders.
GMO OMG (85 min.)
Explores the corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds. Investigates how loss of seed diversity and genetic alteration of food affects children and the health of our planet. Details one family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system.
The Human Scale (83 min)
How we can make our cities and towns more attractive and healthy? Based on the work of famed architect and urban planner Jan Gehl, the film brings real solutions that promise a more humanistic dimension to cities where people are not displaced by congested streets, skyscrapers, and the car-centric urbanism of the 1960s and ’70s.
Inhabit (2015) (93 min.)
Explores permaculture as a way to shift our agricultural impact from destructive to regenerative. Focused mostly on the Northeastern and Midwestern regions of the U.S., the film looks at permaculture in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.
Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story (2014) (75 min.)
Filmmakers Jen & Grant dive into the issue of waste from farms, through retail, to the back of their own fridge. Catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered food are compelling.
Last Call at the Oasis (108 min.)
A 2012 documentary on the world’s water crisis, sheds light on the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling and introduces us to individuals who are championing solutions.
Lost Rivers (72 min.)
Examines hidden waterways in cities around the world. Explores how and why cities buried their rivers, and the process many are undertaking to “daylight” them once again.

The Messenger (2016) (89 min.)
Based upon the award-winning book, Silence of the Songbirds, by Stutchbury, the film is an investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion, and the people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning, emotional journey revealing how issues facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet.
Project Wild Thing (83 min.)
Follows a Dad as he tries to get his kids back to nature− literally. In an attempt to compete with the brands, which take up a third of his daughter’s life. He appoints himself Marketing Director for Nature−but is Nature past its sell-by date?
Racing to Zero (55 min.)
Follows the zero waste efforts of San Francisco which has increased recycling, repurposing, composting, and changing patterns of production and consumption. Today, SF leads the nation by keeping 78% of its garbage out of landfills!
River Planet (29 min.)
Explores the very different environmental, cultural and social issues around how humans and wildlife interact with six major rivers on our planet.
A Sense of Wonder: Rachel Carson (60 min.)
When pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962, the backlash from her critics thrust her into the center of a political maelstrom. Carson recounts with both humor and anger the attacks by the chemical industry, the government, and the press as she works to get her message to Congress and the American people.
Switch (98 min.)
Join energy visionary Dr. Scott Tinker as he explores the world’s leading energy sites, from coal to solar, oil to biofuels, many highly restricted and never before seen on film.
Symphony of the Soil (104 min)
Explores the complexity of soil. Filmed on four continents and sharing the voices of soil scientists, farmers and activists, the film uses a mix of art and science to show that soil is a complex living organism, the foundation of life on earth.
Tapped (54 min.)
Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold? Examines the big business of bottled water.
Thin Ice (114 min.)
Climate science has been coming under increasing attack. In this documentary, geologist Simon Lamb interviews climate science colleagues around the world to find out what’s really going on and reveals the human face of climate science.
Thirst (62 min.)
Efforts by powerful corporations to commodify the world’s water supplies have catalyzed community resistance to globalization in Bolivia, India and the U.S. To borrow, contact Carol Asiala
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate (90 min.)
Presents powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there, suggesting that we can seize the crisis of climate change to transform our economic system .
Tiny: A story about living small (62 min.)
The “tiny house” movement can be traced to Thoreau’s book, Walden, and his ideal of simplifying life, considering which comforts and possessions can be done without. Tiny House owners have come up with innovations for living comfortably in small spaces.
Weather Report (52 min.)
Takes us to places where global warming is having an immediate effect, to meet people who are early victims of the global crisis that will soon affect us all.
A Will for the Woods (102 min)
Explores the growing movement for green burial by following one person’s effort to prepare for his own death.
FREIGHTENED: The Real Price of Shipping Goods (90 min.)
90% of goods consumed in the West are manufactured in far-off lands and brought to us by ship. The shipping industry is a key player in world economy. The film reveals an invisible industry that reaches deep into our economy and environment.
The Creeping Garden (83 min.)
Explores a world creeping right beneath our feet—examines the work of scientists, mycologists and artists, and their relationship with the extraordinary plasmodial slime mold which is being used to explore biological-inspired design.