5 must-see activist documentaries this fall

In the midst of environmental chaos, we need the power of film more than ever to ask big questions and connect people with the natural world. Here are five thought-provoking documentaries with topics ranging from America’s ambitious transportation movement to the corruption of industrial farming. Watch them with your friends or student organizations so you can all be social while saving energy and money at the same time. 

“Bikes vs Cars” 

2015 Documentary • 1h 30m

Americans spend 55 workdays in traffic every year, but 50 percent of all trips in the U.S. are less than three miles. “Bikes vs Cars” takes a look at the car dependency problem and what bikes can do to create healthier communities.

Where to see it: To request a film screening at Ball State’s campus, visit the website or contact glynnis@wgfilm.com.


2014 • Short Film/Adventure • 1h 34m 

This documentary film takes a look at America’s large dams and how they affect ecosystems, endanger the wild fish and salmon population, and damage communities. From damming our rivers to healing them, “DamNation” tells a story of trial and error and the human desire for change. 

Where to see it: Bracken Library, Netflix 

"Racing Extinction" 

2015 • Thriller/Action • 1h 34m

Oscar-winning director of “The Cove,” Louie Psihoyos, assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, “Racing Extinction” reveals stunning, never-before-seen images that truly change the way one sees the world. 

Where to see it: Global premier on the Discovery Channel, December 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. For more information, visit www.racingextinction.com

"Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues in a Big Farm World" 

2014 • Short Film • 34m

“Down to Earth” is a story about the Beckers, a local farming family in East Central Indiana and their efforts to create a positive future for their land and community. The film explains the obstacles and successes small farmers face today and the significance of sustainable agriculture. “Down to Earth” is produced by 14 Ball State students as part of an immersive learning course led by Dr. Andrea Powell Wolfe, assistant professor of English at Ball State. 

Where to see it: Free at www.downtoearthfarming.org/film.html   

"Food, Inc." 

2008  Documentary • 1h 34m 

“Food, Inc.’s” message spread like wildfire throughout the U.S. and the world. This activist documentary reveals America’s corporate controlled food industry and the cruel treatment of animals in commercial farms. “You’ll shudder, shake and just possibly lose your genetically modified lunch,” said Manohla Dargis in a New York Times review. 

Where to see it: Bracken Library, Netflix 


More from The Daily

This Week's Digital Issue

Loading Recent Classifieds...