The best documentaries about water

Water, essential to life, has become a critical and complex topic. Documentaries on this subject shed light on environmental issues, corporate practices, and the global water crisis. Here’s a guide to some of the best documentaries about water, featuring notable sections on “Tapped,” “Last Call at the Oasis,” and “The Devil We Know.”

1. “Tapped” (2009):
Directed by Stephanie Soechtig, “Tapped” unveils the alarming realities of the bottled water industry. The documentary explores the environmental impact of plastic bottles, corporate control over water resources, and the questionable practices of water bottling companies. “Tapped” serves as a wake-up call, urging viewers to reconsider their relationship with this seemingly ubiquitous resource.

2. “Last Call at the Oasis” (2011):
This documentary, directed by Jessica Yu, delves into the global water crisis, examining the challenges and potential solutions. From water scarcity to contamination, “Last Call at the Oasis” explores the environmental, social, and political dimensions of water issues. Featuring expert interviews and powerful visuals, the film encourages viewers to recognize water as a precious and finite resource.

3. “The Devil We Know” (2018):
Directed by Stephanie Soechtig and Jeremy Seifert, “The Devil We Know” exposes the dark side of the chemical industry and its impact on water quality. Focusing on the town of Parkersburg, West Virginia, the documentary unveils the consequences of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) pollution from a local DuPont plant. The film raises questions about corporate accountability and the need for stricter regulations to protect water sources.

4. “Blue Gold: World Water Wars” (2008):
Directed by Sam Bozzo, “Blue Gold: World Water Wars” explores the geopolitical and environmental consequences of water scarcity. The documentary investigates the commodification of water, its privatization, and the potential conflicts arising from its scarcity. “Blue Gold” prompts viewers to consider the ethical implications of treating water as a marketable commodity.

5. “Flow: For Love of Water” (2008):
Irena Salina’s “Flow” examines the global water crisis, exposing the privatization of water resources and the impact on communities worldwide. The documentary features interviews with activists, scientists, and policymakers, providing a comprehensive overview of the challenges and potential solutions to ensure access to clean and safe water for all.

6. “Rotten: Troubled Waters” (2018):
Part of the Netflix series “Rotten,” this episode titled “Troubled Waters” explores the complexities of the international fish trade. Investigating overfishing, illegal practices, and the impact on local communities, the episode raises awareness about the environmental and social consequences of our consumption choices.

7. “Water & Power: A California Heist” (2017):
This documentary, directed by Marina Zenovich, focuses on the water wars in California. Exploring the historical and present-day struggles for control over water resources, the film highlights the intricate relationships between agriculture, corporations, and local communities in a state grappling with water scarcity.

8. “Chasing Coral” (2017):
While not solely about water, this documentary directed by Jeff Orlowski provides a poignant exploration of the impact of climate change on coral reefs. By showcasing the bleaching of coral due to rising sea temperatures, “Chasing Coral” underscores the interconnectedness of water, climate, and marine ecosystems.

These documentaries offer a deep dive into the complexities surrounding water, from pollution and privatization to scarcity and global impact. As you explore these films, you’ll gain a heightened awareness of the urgent need to protect and preserve one of our planet’s most precious resources.


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