Saturday, May 09, 2009

Ecowar movies: Edutainment suggestions

Noticing the clamour over the new animated movie Battle for Terra (or just Terra) and it's interesting theme I put it on my Must See list - right next to Blood Diamond which is way over due. Then the logical idea came: make a list of movies for Ecowar!

Only four movies made it onto the list so far. But I would love to get recommendations for more! Please spam.

Battle for Terra
"A peaceful alien planet faces annihilation, as the homeless remainder of the human race sets its eyes on Terra. Mala, a rebellious Terrian teenager, will do everything she can to stop it." - IMDb plot
US Republican reviewers are all up in arms about this one. They say it's "Bush Bashing". I don't know what to think about that - especially since I haven't watched it yet. But in an interview with the writer he explained the rationale for the story as him not buying into the premise of War of the Worlds - that an entire species should be "evil". Seems very reasonable to me! Thus far in human history new territory has been considered something to exploit. Why not an inhabited planet? We might be in need of some planetary migration before we know it.

The Happening
"A strange, horrible and unprecedented crisis begins in Central Park. A high school science teacher, his wife and a young girl do what they can to survive it." - IMDb plot
Many would argue the science in this one is about as far out as the science in The Matrix. I don't think it is, although it's taken to quite a cinematic extreme. It's Gaia Theory. Somehow the human population pressure provokes a seriously negative feedback. It's not a very good movie due to various factors but it has it's moments. Like this line:
Nursery Owner: "You know plants have the ability to target specific threats. Tobacco plants when attacked by heliothis caterpillars will send out a chemical attracting wasps to kill just those caterpillars. We don't know how plants obtain these abilities, they just evolve very rapidly."
There Will Be Blood
A story about family, greed, religion, and oil, centered around a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business." - IMDb plot
No way I could omit this masterpiece although the conflict is largely explained in metaphorical measures and business rivalry.

Blood Diamond
A fisherman, a smuggler, and a syndicate of businessmen match wits over the possession of a priceless diamond. - IMDb plot
My final choice is also the least fictional - I suppose because as I mentioned I haven't watched it. Yet! Said to be a bit "tough" to watch.

Of course, there are movies about some of the wars that I have blogged about here. But I have a hard time thinking of any that really touches upon the ecowar issue. Also, I have excluded The Matrix trilogy - because blocking the sun is simply so stupid no one would ever consider it (think twice) and because the science in it isn't always that educational (human batteries?).

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