Video Essay Script Rough Draft
Environmental issues are depicted in film in ways that can be thought of as either realistic, unrealistic, or possible, and not possible. Probably the most popular movie about climate change would have to be The Day After Tomorrow. Although the issue of climate change is very real, the movie over exaggerates what our planet is going through. The movie uses fictional catastrophic climate events and extreme weather scenarios that ultimately cause an ice age.
Interstellar is based on planet Earth in the future, where humans are out of food and other resources. The depletion of Earth and its resources is a very real issue that needs a solution. In the movie, the solution is to find another planet that can sustain life. A team of astronauts travel throughout time and space by using the gravitational force from a black hole to locate a new planet for humans to live on. In real life this solution could be possible, but it is highly unlikely because we do not possess the technology that they use in the movie.
The topic of the depletion of Earth’s natural resources is again present in the movie Avatar. Rather than traveling to a new planet to live there, the military travels to a new planet, Pandora, with the mission to steal it’s most valuable resource known as ubotanium. The expansion of mining the ubotanium threatens the planet’s native tribe Na’vi. Although it is set on a fictional planet, the issue how far we are willing to go for resources is comparable to our own reality. Just like in the movie we are willing to go to war with the native people of an area to access resources such as oil.
The animated film, The Lorax, teaches children about the issue of destroying the environment in order to make money. The Once-ler discovers a land full of Brown Bar-ba-loots, Humming-Fish and luscious, beautiful Truffula Trees. He quickly discovers that by cutting down the Truffla Trees he can make a “Thneed” and sell them for profit. Although the Lorax warns him of the dangers of cutting down trees, he ignores him and builds a factory to increase “Thneed” production. Soon the Bar-ba-loots and then the fish are driven off, because they can’t survive in a habitat with so few trees, and the land is left desolate. Even though the children story is made up, it has a very realistic undertone. We are currently doing the same thing to our forests, and just like in The Lorax, we are making it harder and harder for plants and animals to survive.
The film Erin Brockovich is a dramatization of the true story of the real life Erin Brockovich who fought against the energy corportation Pacific Gas and Electric Company. The groundwater in Hinkley, California is seriously contaminated with carcinogenic hexavalent chromium, but PG&E has been telling Hinkley residents that they use a safer form of chromium. The issue of pollution and more specifically groundwater contamination is represented in a very realistic manor, and the film shows just how tough it is to battle a powerful corporation.
Hands down the most realistic portrayal of how real the problem of climate change is would have to come from a documentary like Chasing Ice. Chasing Ice shows you exactly what is happening to the artic glaciers, and records the biggest calving event in history. The documentary really puts things into perspective by showing you a glacier melting that is bigger than the city of Manhattan.
Different films portray the environment in different ways, usually to suite their audience. It is very important that issues regarding our environment continue to be brought out in film. As humans we need to stop destroying the planet we live on, and find solutions to fix the problems we have created.