9 movies that shed much-needed light on environmental issues through impactful storytelling!

Vruddhi Bagadia
New Update
environment centric films

Movies majorly influence audiences today and films that help stir conversations about environmental issues play an important role now more than ever. Here's a list of films that authentically portrayed these problems on-screen! 

Cinema is the most effective medium to talk about pivotal issues as it reaches a large number of audience and the film industry has been at the forefront of incorporating sustainability themes in their narrative lately. From exploring the impact of climate change on communities to raising awareness on ecological degradation, Bollywood has been addressing several environmental challenges. For instance, movies like 'Kadvi Hawa' directed by Nila Madhab Panda, draw attention to the importance of environmental conservation and sustainable living. Another notable movie, 'Fukrey 3' directed by Mrighdeep Singh Lamba incorporates themes related to the impact of pollution and littering. These films not only provide an opportunity for audiences to reflect on the state of the planet, but also encourage them to take action towards building a more sustainable future. 

Also Read; Top 10 travel bloggers who are always on a go for the environment

Here are some that taught us a thing or two and also left us with some food for thought!

Kadvi Hawa

A film directed by Nila Madhab Panda, ‘Kadvi Hawa’ brilliantly depicts the tragic consequences of climate change, including farmer suicides through some devastating visuals of droughts and floods. This story highlights the effects of 'changing weather patterns caused by climate disasters' on people at the bottom of the economic pyramid. In India, where people heavily rely on agricultural operations, this story helps us realize the severe damage that climate change can do.  

Kaun Kitne Paani Mein

The film addresses the critical issue of water shortage through the contrasting villages of Upri and Bairi. The water scarcity in Upri reveals the difference between hardworking lower-caste residents in Bairi and lazy upper-caste residents in Upri. This prompts Upri villagers to seek water from Bairi, making it a constant back and forth between them. It sheds light on how lack of resources can increase water scarcity and deeply impact lives.

Bhopal Express

'Bhopal Express' sheds light on the tragic Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 where human negligence led to over 8000 deaths. Through the lens of a newlywed couple and their friends, it vividly illustrates how irresponsible actions can permanently scar the lives of ordinary people. Director Mahesh Mithai's powerful narrative serves as a stark reminder of the enduring scars left by the tragic event.



Yet another movie that runs on the lines of the complex relatonship between man and nature is Girish Malik's directorial debut 'Jal' which revolves around the issue of water scarcity. In the film, the search for water is led by the protagonist 'Bakka' who is accompanied by a Russian woman, who is studying the decrease of flamingo population due to water scarcity as well. How this further creates social divisions and how they overcome all of it and more is what the crux of the film is all about.


Directed by Aparnaa Singh and Nishant Tripathi, Irada gives out a meaningful message through the thriller genre. Set in Bathinda, a retired army officer's daughter falls ill due to chemical contamination in the groundwater, impacting many villagers. As a journalist uncovers the truth and is kidnapped, a trio sets out to seek justice and expose the devastating effects of monetary interests on public health and the environment.


In Sherni, environmentalism is given importance to in a rather mainstream Bollywood manner. Directed by Amit Masurkar who delivers a nuanced take on forestry and wildlife in India, this film features issues such as human-wildlife conflict and the rights of forest dwellers. Sherni also powerfully depicts the everyday patriarchy faced by women in the forest service. It stands out for its detailed portrayal of environmental issues, excellent storytelling, and its portrayal of a typical government office in a provincial setting.


The film portrays the struggle of farmers facing the dilemma between selling their land for industrial development and the challenges of urban labor, encapsulating the contemporary 'nature versus development' issue. With Manoj Bajpayee in the lead, the film managed to spread awareness and impact a large number of audience.

Read our review here!

Fukrey 3

In a chaotic scene from ‘Fukrey 3’, a water tanker in Delhi brings out the desperate long for water amongst the people there, only for their hopes to be crushed when the tanker is revealed to be empty, leaving them frustrated and chasing after it. This scene reflects the common, summer time water shortage in Indian cities and effectively highlights a critical environmental issue within an entertaining plot. 


Created by award-winning director Richie Mehta, Poacher delves into the critical topic of illegal poaching and human desire to dominate every area of the earth. The series, starring Nimisha Sajayan and Roshan Mathew, is based on actual occurrences of illegal elephant poaching in Kerala, and depicts the Kerala forest department's efforts to catch the 'vettakkar' or hunters. It is extraordinarily well-crafted, with an emphasis on strong human-animal conflict and wildlife protection. Read our review here!


Tell us about some of your favorite films about the environment in the comments below!

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