UC Sustainability

UC Sustainability

Film Series

UC has a regular series of films related to sustainability. These engaging documentaries, fiction films, and shorts all capture the diverse sustainability movement in unique ways. All film screenings are free and open to the public.  To receive credit for the Environmental Literacy Certificate, please register here for the films you will attend.

Spring 2013 

Mondays 7:00pm

MainStreet Cinema (220 Tangeman University Center) unless otherwise noted

January 27


Carbon Nation

By Peter Byck

Carbon Nation is a an optimistic, solutions-based, non-partisan film that shows tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national and energy security and promotes health and a clean environment.  It is a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how solutions to climate change also address other social, economic, and national security issues.  (Click here for film's site.)

2010, 86 minutes

February 3


Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

by Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog presents a picturesque documentary about the life of the indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga.  Viewers follow a trapper through all four seasons of a year.  While 38 million people live in the large region known as Siberia, only 300 people inhabit the small villaga of Bakhtia at the river Yenisei, deep in the taiga and far away from civilization.  There are only two ways to reach this outpost: one is by helicopter, the other by boat.  Here, deep in the wilderness, there is no telephone, nor running water or medical aid.  The natives, whose daily routines have barely changed over the last centuries, continue living their lives according to their own cultural traditions, virtually untouched by modernity.  (Click here for film's site.)

2010, 90 minutes

February 10



by Jeremy Irons and Candida Brady

In this documentary, which was selected to receive a Special Screening at the Cannes Film Festival, Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution.  This investigative journey takes us from scepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope. (Click here for film's site.)

2012, 98 minutes

February 17



by Harry Lynch and Dr. Scott W. Tinker

Every energy resource is undergoing profound changes.  And overall, we're gradually shifting from coal and oil to the energies of tomorrow.  This sweeping transition is the subject of Switch.  But rather than advocate for how it should hapen, this film travels the world to discover how it most likely will happen.  The film focuses on practical realities and encourages a balanced understanding.  Switch also looks at the economic and environmental benefits of efficiency and current advances in energy efficiency. (Click here for film's site.)


February 24


Eating Alabama

by Andrew Grace

In search of a simpler life, a young couple returns home to Alabama where they set out to eat the way their grandparents did - locally and seasonally.  But as they navigate the agro-industrial gastronomical complex, they soon realize that nearly everything about the food system has changed since farmers once populated their family histories.  A thoughtful and often funny essay on community, the South, and sustainability, Eating Alabama is a story about why food matters.  (Click here for film's site.)

2012, 62 minutes

March 3



by Alastair Fothergill and Disney Nature

Journey deep into the African rainforest and meet Oscar, an adorable young chimp with an entertaining approach to life, and a remarkable story of individual triumph and family bonds.  The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps who love creating mayhem.  Full of curiosity, a zest for discovery, joy, and a love for mimicking others, Oscar - and his family - navigate the complex territory of the forest.  It's an inspiring and life-changing adventure, narrated by Tim Allen, that overflows with courage and charm that will capture your heart.  (Click here for film's site.)

2012, 78 minutes

March 10


Bag It

By Suzan Beraza and Michelle Curry Wright

Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes - single-use disposable bags that we mindlessly throw away.  But where is "away"?  Where do the bags and other plastics end up, and at what cost to our environment, marine life, and human health?  Bag It follows "everyman" Jeb Berrier as he navigates our plastic world.  Jeb looks beyond plastic bags and discovers that virtually everything in modern society - from baby bottles to sports equipment to dental sealants to personal care products - made with plastic or contains potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process.  When Jeb's journey takes a personal twist, we see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up with us and what we can do about it.  (Click here for film's site.)

2010, 74 minutes

March 24



by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Perennou

Using special macroscopic photographic techniques, this fascinating and visually spectacular film looks at the hidden worlds in the life cycle of an ordinary meadow in France.  Insects become gigantic beasts, blades of grass turn into towering monuments, and raindrops form puddles that resemble vast oceans.  The filmmakers find humor, drama, and beauty in the lives of these tiny flora and fauna as caterpillars transform into butterflies, beetles struggle with their day's foraging, and snails reproduce their species.  Microcosmos was a multiple prize winner at the 1996 French Academy of Cinema Awards.

1996, 80 minutes

March 31

The Unforeseen

The Unforeseen

By Laura Dunn and Robert Redford

This official selection at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival tells the story of an ambitious west Texas farm boy who heads to Austin where he becomes a real estate developer and skillfully capitalizes on the growth of this 1970s boomtown.  At the peak of his powers, he transforms 4,000 acres of pristine Hill Country into one of the state's largest and fastest selling subdivisions.  When the development threatens a local treasure, a fragile limestone aquifer and a naturally spring-fed swimming hole, the community fights back.  In the conflict that ensues, we see in miniature a struggle that today plays out in communities across the country.  (Click here for the film's site.)

2007, 88 minutes

April 7


Promised Land

by Gus Van Sant

In this feature film based on a story by Dave Eggers, Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler, a corporate salesman whose journey from farm boy to big-time player takes an unexpected detour when he lands in a small town, where he grappls with a surprising array of both open hearts and closed doors.  Steve and his sales partner are dispatched to the rural town of McKinley to acquire drilling rights and encounter unexpected reluctance from the community and a slick environmental activist.  (Click here for film's site.)

2012, 106 minutes

April 14



by Roko Belic

Does money make you happy?  Kids and family?  Your work?  Do you live in a world that values and promotes happiness and well-being?  Are we in the midst of a happiness revolution?  Roko Belic, director of the Academy Award nominated Genghis Blues, sets out to answer these questions and more.  Taking us from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the villages of Okinawa, Happy explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.  (Click here for film's site.)

2011, 76 minutes