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Let’s talk about the ocean: Films to watch for World Oceans Day

For years and years now accounts of the critical situation of the planet’s oceans have been released in the media. Documentary after documentary shares the urgency of climate change, pollution, and more. For World Oceans Day this year, we sought out the best films in teaching people about our tranquil yet enigmatic oceans.

In the midst of causes we have to keep fighting for, there is also a lot of life to be celebrated and awareness to be raised. For World Oceans Day, here is a brief journey from overwhelming to heart-wrenching films and stories.

David Attenborough: A life on our planet

The acclaimed documentary narrated by David Attenborough himself received unanimity among the public in 2020.

Hear and watch the British broadcaster recount his life along with the evolutionary history of planet Earth. With grief, he looks at where we are today, and further rings the alarm on actions that need to be taken.

A Plastic Ocean

As Craig Leeson discovers the overwhelming amounts of plastic that wind up in the ocean, the 2016 documentary denounces the urgent and global crisis of climate change and pollution on Earth.

Leeson is an Australian-born award-winning journalist, filmmaker, and public speaker. Join him on an adventure that is as informative as it is mind-boggling.

At least 8 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, and make up 80% of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments.



Seeking to expose our world’s fishing industries, Seaspiracy was directed by and stars British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi.

The documentary proved to be controversial among critics. Convincing some to stop their fish consumption, it pushed and pulled towards extreme directions and resolutions. Ultimately, the film shed light on the reality of our society’s relationship with the oceans that surround us.

Mission Blue

This documentary is an encapsulation of environmentalist Sylvia Earle’s life work.

Released in 2014, it brings together the urgent concerns of pollution and the fishing industry, along with more. Destabilizing as well as it is fascinating, Earle’s story will leave you inspired to fight for a brighter future on Earth.

Deep Blue

National Geographic called the documentary a “stunning reminder of how beautiful our planet can be.”

A personal favorite since childhood, it is an eye-opening exploration of the ocean from its dark depth to its smooth-looking surface. The film was released in the early aughts, making it less subject to the past years’ societal awakening with regards to the urgency of climate change and pollution.

But as it reminds us that 80 percent of life on Earth actually exists in water, it highlights the importance of preserving the ocean’s beauty and rarity.

Let these films for World Oceans Day educate and inspire you to help save our planet

Films can teach us much more than we ever know. Just by watching a screen and listening, our minds can be transformed in an instant.

Still, that is only the first step. We must take what we have learned from these exploratory films and apply it to cleaning and preserving our oceans. And most importantly, holding corporations accountable for the mess they have caused.