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The 2009 Films on the Green Festival Available Online!

World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 and encourages awareness and action for the protection of our environment. To mark the occasion, let’s rewind to the 2009 edition of Films on the Green––when the festival was going green!

Read on below for a curated selection of French movies about the environment and the beauty of the natural world. Most were screened during our 2009 festival, with some bonus not-to-miss features sprinkled in!

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Directed by Yann Arthus Bertrand, 2009, 2h00, France

Most astonishing pictures of our planet ever taken! The film is almost entirely composed of aerial shots of various places on Earth. It shows the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. The filming was done using high definition “Cineflex” cameras.

Available on Amazon Prime | YouTube | PantaFlix

March of the Penguins (La Marche de l’Empereur)
Directed by Luc Jacquet, 2005, PG, 1h20, France

In the Antarctic, every March since the beginning of time, the quest begins to find the perfect mate and start a family. This courtship will begin with a long journey - a journey that will take them hundreds of miles across the continent by foot, in freezing cold temperatures, in brittle, icy winds and through deep, treacherous waters. They will risk starvation and attack by dangerous predators, under the harshest conditions on earth, all to find true love.

Available on Fubo | Amazon Video | HBO Max |  YouTube | Google Play | iTunes | FandangoNow | Vudu | Redbox | Microsoft | DirecTV

The Big Blue (Le Grand Bleu)
Directed by Luc Besson, 1988, PG-13, 2h17, France-USA

Two long-time friends vie for a deep-sea diving record in this portrait of two men bound to the sea and the affection between one of the men and the woman he loves. A tale of friendship and romance.

Available on YouTube | Google Play

Microcosmos (Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe)
Directed by Marie Pérennou & Claude Nuridsany, 1996, PG, 1h15, France

A French meadow on a summer's day is the setting for this incredible film that takes its microscopic cameras into the heart of the insect world. In this miniature environment where a single raindrop can cause havoc, we are treated to an array of jaw-dropping moments: an underwater spider makes a home out of an air bubble, a colony of ants faces a massacre when a pheasant attacks, and a determined beetle struggles to relocate his ball of dung.

Available on YouTube | iTunes | Google Play


As it was a short selection back then in 2009, when the festival was still smaller, we would like to add a few movie suggestions related to this theme:

Tomorrow (Demain)
Directed by Cyril Dion & Mélanie Laurent, 2017, PG, 1h59, France

Following the publication of a study forecasting the possible extinction of mankind by 2100, Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent travelled through 10 countries to understand the reasons of this upcoming catastrophe and, most of all, how to prevent it. During their journey, they met pioneers who reinvent agriculture, energy, economy, democracy, and education. By pulling together these positive, tested initiatives, they begin to see what the world of tomorrow could be.

Available on Kanopy | tubi | Amazon Video | YouTube | Google Play | Vudu | iTunes

Winged Migration (Le people migrateur)
Directed by Jacques Perrin, 2001, PG, 1h31, France-Germany-Italy

This documentary presents an epic portrait of winter bird migration. Filmed on all seven continents over four years, the footage is brought together into one portrait of a journey that is uniformly arduous for all kinds of different birds. Rather than concentrating on statistics and facts, the film near-wordlessly portrays the sheer physical effort demanded of the birds on their disparate routes. Along the way, we see the many dangers they face, from man-made waste to a group of hungry crabs.

Available on Amazon Video | FandangoNow | Vudu | iTunes | Microsoft

The Gleaners and I (Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse)
Directed by Agnès Varda, 2000, 1h18, France

Varda’s rumination on this art of “living off the leftovers of others” finds inspiration in both past and present, rural and urban, the political and the highly personal. Camera in hand, Varda interviews those for whom gleaning is a way of life, or an encompassing philosophy.

Available on Amazon Video | Mubi

The Bear (L’Ours)
Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, 1988, 1h40, PG, France-USA

Acclaimed account of an orphaned grizzly cub and a wounded Kodiak bear that join forces in their struggle for survival in 1885 Canada.

Available on Amazon Prime | YouTube | Google Play

Food Beware: The French Organic Revolution (Nos enfants nous accuseront)
Directed by Jean-Paul Jaud, 2008, 1h47, France

Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town's mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground - children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves.

Available on Kanopy | Google Play | YouTube | iTunes | Vudu

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