November 25, 2022
Jonas Schilders

7 hopeful nature documentaries about the future.

Let’s face it, all this talk about climate change can be quite depressive sometimes. Seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, while being bombarded with negative news about the future of our planet, is far from easy. “So should we not be worried? Should we keep on living this way?”, the answer is NO, definitely not. The urgency of the dangers of climate change are more real than ever, but there is positive news too.

Let’s have a look at 7 hopeful documentaries about human’s relationship with the planet. Because we believe in fighting climate change with hope, instead of fear.

1. Kiss The Ground
2. The Biggest Little Farm
3. Fantastic Fungi
4. David Attenborough : A Life on Our Planet
5. My Octopus Teacher
6. 2040
7. The Need To Grow

Kiss The Ground

After our previous blog posts about starting a vegetable garden, it is only normal to kick off this list with a documentary about the missing piece of the climate puzzle, soil. Narrated by the famous actor, Woody Harrelson, Kiss The Ground is a groundbreaking film that shines the light on a ‘new, old approach’ to farming called regenerative agriculture. This is, at its core, a process of farming and ranching in close harmony with nature.

The film argues that through the healing power of soil, we can actually reverse the effects of climate change and draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide. This can result in the restoring of lost ecosystems, creating abundant food supplies and the preservation of our planet.

You can find Kiss The Ground on Netflix.

The Biggest Little Farm

The next one on our list of nature documentaries that’ll bring you hope, is The Biggest Little Farm. This award-winning film tells the remarkable story of John and Molly Chester, who abandon urban life to live in close harmony with nature on a farm in Ventura.

The film, shot over 8 eight years, displays the couple’s quest to create a sustainable farm on infertile land by regenerating the soil. Through perseverance and embracing the opportunities provided by nature’s conflicts, Josh and Molly create something beyond their imagination. The film is a thorough display of hard work and the power of nature.

You can find The Biggest Little Farm on Netflix.

Fantastic Fungi

We all love mushrooms — they taste amazing, they improve our health, and they even function as houses for kabouters (for the Dutch reader).  But what if I say that that doesn’t cover the tip of the iceberg? What if I say that mushrooms will play a big part in protecting our planet and creating a better future?

Fantastic Fungi shows a fascinating display of the underrated creature of the world, the mushroom. It will give you an up-close look at the role these organisms play in rebirth, rejuvenation and regeneration.

What started out as a documentary, grew quickly into a global community of people astonished by the capabilities of fungi. It will actually blow your mind.

You can find Fantastic Fungi on Netflix.

David Attenborough : A Life On Our Planet

David Attenborough, the man with the most comforting voice on the planet, is one of the greatest broadcasters this world has ever seen. Through his many award-winning documentaries, he has not only introduced many of us to a variety of animals around the world, but he has changed the way we look at them.

In this specific nature documentary, the 94-year old Attenborough recounts his life, and the evolutionary history of life on earth. What starts out as a testament of grief, talking about the loss of wild places around the world, turns into a hopeful vision for the future. A Life On Our Planet is a heartfelt and urgent film recounting a powerful story about human’s relationship with nature, and a hopeful message for future generations.

You can watch A Life On Our Planet on Netflix.

My Octopus Teacher

The oscar-winning documentary, My Octopus Teacher, is merely the display of an immersive portrait of human-animal understanding. The film tells the story of Craig Foster, who by suffering from a loss of purpose, begins a daily regimen where he goes diving in the freezing kelp forests at the tip of Africa. What just starts out as an attempt to energise himself, quickly turns into an encounter with an octopus and an exhilarating record of the animal’s entire life.

For the following year, Foster dives deeper and deeper into the world of a creature most of us have only ever eaten. The film shows us a deep, touching bond between a human and an extremely intelligent animal.

You can watch My Octopus Teacher on Netflix.


If I have to describe the key takeaway of the movie 2040 in one sentence, it’ll be ‘a sense that change is possible’. The director, Damon Gameau, structures the film as a visual letter to his 4-year old daughter. In the film, he presents a hopeful image of what the future could look like in 2040, if we would actually do things right. 

Gameau travels all over the world and during his trip, he chooses to explore different solutions to reverse climate change. Doing this, he shows a better and more sustainable world, built by using solutions and technologies that already exist. He shapes a hopeful image of the direction we could head towards, using ideas and resources we already know.

2040 is available on Documentary Mania.

The Need To Grow

To end the list, we have to go back to the subject of the first documentary, soil. The award-winning film, The Need To Grow, highlights once again the importance of healthy soil for the world’s future. The movie reveals not only the potential of localised food production working with nature, but our opportunity as individuals to help regenerate our planet’s dying soils. Which will eventually play a big role in the restoration of the Earth. 

With only 60 years of farmable soil left, this nature documentary offers an intimate look into the heart of activists and innovators in the food movement. The film follows an 8-year old girl, a renegade farmer and an accomplished visionary investor, all fighting for a change in the industry of agricultural food production. 

The Need To Grow is Available on Vimeo. 

Isn’t it the perfect timing for some new action on your watch list with this cold weather? Grab a blanket, put yourself a cup of tea on, and let these movies make you feel hopeful again. 

Catch you next week !