Films on Pesticides

Silent Spring

Documentary 1993 NR 56 minutes. Rachel Carson’s tireless devotion to nature would make her the godmother to the environmental movement. In this “American Experience” presentation, Carson’s groundbreaking best-seller Silent Spring and its tremendous impact are explored. The book’s focus on the dangers of synthetic pesticides — specifically DDT — on the environment set off an outcry that led to a ban on the substances and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Vanishing of the Bees

Documentary 2009 NR 87 minutes. This documentary details the economic, political and ecological consequences of a dwindling world honeybee population. It’s a phenomenon with a name — Colony Collapse Disorder — The cause and effect relationship of Bayer’s systemic chemicals used in France, and subsequently banned (with the bees returning within a year) as well as the studies done in the U.S. (proving the chemicals build up in the honey/pollen of the hives) and why so few studies have actually been done (the companies profiting from the chemical sales are responsible for doing the studies – a policy of the EPA.) The monoculture discussion was very clearly an explanation of why the farmers must use these chemicals – because with monoculture a single pest is able to become a massive problem when the entire farm is a food source. This is also why they recommend eating organic (no pesticides), using your local farmer’s market (no monoculture) or even setting up your own garden (full control over what’s put on your crops.) This was not “leftist propaganda.” It was an explanation of the problem, the primary and most likely cause – based on facts, science, and experience; and a series of potential solutions. See Full Review


Documentary 2009 NR 1hr 24m. What is bee colony collapse disorder and how does it impact America’s food supply? This documentary explores how the deaths of millions of bees threaten the livelihoods of many beekeepers and the nation’s crops.

Queen of the Sun
What Are the Bees Telling Us?

Documentary 2010 NR 1hr 21m. This film documents the surprising importance of the lowly honeybee, describing how bees’ pollinating activities play a crucial role in the food chain and how recent catastrophic “colony collapses” could interrupt global food production.

Food Beware
The French Organic Revolution

Documentary 2009 NR 112 minutes. (Nos Enfants Nous Accuseront) Jean-Paul Jaud’s documentary visits the Barjac village in France, where the mayor has mandated an all-organic menu for the lunch program in the local school. Farmers, parents, kids and health care advocates discuss the impact of the decision. School and government officials also weigh in on why people are dying of cancer in ever-increasing numbers, the food industry’s role, the use of pesticides, nutrition and local sustainability. See Full Review


Documentary 2009 NR 87 minutes. Nicaraguan laborers are paying a high price to get cheap bananas onto the world’s tables, and Southern California personal injury lawyer Juan Dominguez has decided to do something about it. This film tells his story. Director Fredrik Gertten follows Dominguez as he takes on corporate giants Dole Food and Dow Chemical on behalf of 10,000 banana workers made ill by a pesticide used in Nicaraguan plantations years after it was banned in the States.

Big Boys Gone Bananas!*

Documentary 2011 NR. This fascinating documentary follows the battle between a couple of Swedish filmmakers and the Dole Food Company, which conducted a legal and publicity campaign against them to prevent the showing of their film about a lawsuit against the company.

The World According to Monsanto
(Le Monde Selon Monsanto)

Documentary 2008. Directed by Marie-Monique Robin. Originally released in French, the film is based on Robin’s three-year long investigation into the US agricultural giant Monsantocorporation’s practices around the world. The World According to Monsanto is also a book written by Marie-Monique Robin winner of the Rachel Carson Prize (a Norwegian prize for female environmentalists). See Full Review

Fooling With Nature

Documentary Frontline 1998. Frontline examines new evidence in the controversy over the danger of manmade chemicals to human health and the environment, thirty-five years after Rachel Carson first raised concerns of an impending ecological crisis. Currently, millions in research and public relations dollars are being spent in the battle, and President Clinton is calling this one of his top environmental priorities. The film takes viewers inside the world of scientists, politicians, activists, and business officials embroiled in this high-stakes debate that threatens the multibillion dollar chemical industry.

Health Hazards of Pesticides

Documentary Communicable Disease Center 1958 14 min. Emphasizes the potential public health hazards resulting from the widespread use of pesticides and explains the work of the Communicable Disease Center’s toxicology laboratories.

Link to watch Health Hazards of Pesticides online free


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