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Must-See Documentaries to Get Your Inner Activist Riled Up

Being any sort of activist is as rewarding as it is tiresome, especially if it seems like all the most powerful players are in the opposite team which is almost always the case when talking about trying to save the environment. In time, spirits start to get low. You begin feeling like there’s someone carelessly dumping trash into the ocean for every time you recycle your trash, and the sad part is that it’s probably true. That’s exactly why it’s important to renew energy, find those who believe in the same things that you do and get inspired to keep going.

This is when documentaries come in. Believe it or not, they are an invaluable source of inspiration when done right. They offer compelling stories about others trying to do the same thing you’re trying to do, help you round up your arguments and thoughts, and more often than not, they also open your eyes to realities outside of your own. They’re like an adrenaline rush of knowledge and passion. We’ve compiled a list of must-see documentaries that will renew your spirits and leave you ready to keep fighting:

The 11th Hour

This one received a lot of attention when it was released back in 2007, mainly because it’s narrated by self-proclaimed environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio. Opinions on whether Leo actually deserves the title aside, this film offers a gruesome look at all the damage humankind has caused on earth. Important figures (like Stephen King and Nobel prize Wangari Maathai) give their takes on deforestation, global warming, and pollution. They also leave viewers with a couple of ideas as to how to begin to compensate for all the damage we’ve done as a species over the years.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret

If you’ve never considered going vegan, you will after watching this. The documentary takes a deep dive into the effect of large-scale farming has on earth. Turns out farming is playing a huge role when it comes to depleting the world of its most valuable natural resources.

More Than Honey

Every environmentalist has heard that bees are dying. It’s been a point of discussion for about a decade now and even the more aloof of us has at least been exposed to the disastrous effects total extinction would have on our planet. More Than Honey questions agricultural habits and singles them out as major culprits. The film is contradicting in its aesthetics, though. It’s so beautifully shot it sometimes seems unpreoccupied with the subject matter. Still, you’ll find it hard to eat honey after you’re done.

How to Change the World

Greenpeace is basically a household name, but very few people know how the organization got started. This documentary takes a look at the beginnings of this group. Though the film fails to explore the many accomplishments of Greenpeace it does offer an inside look into what it takes to successfully lead such a big group of passionate individuals. Viewers really get to see how it was sometimes an uphill battle from within even though everyone in the group had the same end-goal.