Time to grab the popcorn and settle in for a film. Not a Hollywood blockbuster with explosions left, right and centre (yet still has a happy ending within 120mins) but the type of film that afterwards makes you really think and perhaps reconsider your own views.

We present for your viewing pleasure a small selection of documentaries on energy and electric vehicles – two of our big passions here at Dukosi. Sit back, relax and enjoy the shows.


 

★★★★★ Switch (2012)

An American documentary fronted by geologist, energy researcher and professor of geosciences, Scott W. Tinker, Switch is less politically driven and more pragmatic in its approach than other documentaries. It’s not trying to scare or disengage people with radicalism; it instead uses reason and evidence to show what our energy future might look like.

As you might expect from a professor he takes very logical steps to discover a possible conclusion. The first one is to calculate how much energy an average person uses in a year; with this figure he measures and compares it to each energy type.

Objective and analytical, Dr. Tinker talks to experts and gives pros and cons to each resource. However he is equally passionate and likeable, he truly wants to find the answers to his questions. Tinker’s own opinion is left to the end, we follow him on his journey and to his conclusion: “The most important thing is to change the way we think about energy, so we can change the way we use it”.

Of all the films listed, this is the one to watch. Visually it is beautiful yet it is the content that drives this film.

★★★★ The Fourth Revolution: Energy (2010)

This German documentary film (Die 4. Revolution – Energy Autonomy) is all about renewable energy and how globally, we could have 100% renewable energy. It’s main question is: ‘What energy do we want to live with?’.

Politically charged, much of the views shown echo the ex-President of Eurosolar, social democrat, Herman Scheer and his thinking of the capitalist ownership of energy resources. Without his book ‘Energy Autonomy’, The Fourth Revolution probably would not have been made. His views of energy autonomy and energy being democratised are a main stay throughout.

Made over four years it shows existing projects in a variety of different cultures and countries including Bangladesh, Mali, Spain, USA and Denmark. This is a well-shot film with an equally well thought argument, even if it does at times feel slightly biased.

★★ Future Earth (2009)

This four part documentary TV series focuses on the human impacts on the environment.

‘Addicted to Power’ looks at what our world might look like if we continue consuming energy at current rates (in 2009). Experts and CGI predict the outcome and possible solutions.

The future earth in this series is set in 2015 and well, none of it has come wholly to fruition. If you want a disaster movie mixed with some vague facts, turn this on now. It’s quite melodramatic and uses a host of scaremongering tactics mainly to do with terrorist attacks and economic failure. I’m sure the experts are in fact experts in their field, yet here they are nothing more than a prop to further the dystopian ideologies and put the fear into the viewer.

Probably best to avoid this one.

Future Earth: Addicted to Power

Our last documentary double bill are less concerned with energy but with electric vehicles (but it’s all connected, right?).

★★★ Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006)
★★ Revenge of the Electric Car (2011)

Before EV’s started to become mainstream, ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ concentrates on the General Motors EV1 (voted on of the worst cars of all time by Time magazine) from the mid-90s which was ultimately pulled in 1999.

This film centralises on the US and its involvement in the supposed limited development and adoption of electric/hybrid vehicles in part due to the role of the automobile manufacturers and oil industry. This angle will likely pique the interest of the conspiracy theorists amongst us.

A little pre-emptive perhaps, ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ says we will be “haunted by the ghost of electric cars”.

It was succeeded in 2011 by the follow-up Revenge of the Electric Car. The sequel felt more of feature length advertisement for Tesla and Elon Musk. Slicker in looks, it felt less like it was trying to uncover a conspiracy theory but still wasn’t a very in depth documentary.

Tesla has had a few documentaries made about it and its CEO, propelling into ‘Apple’ status in the electric vehicle market including a recent National Geographic film, ‘Tesla Motors/The Future of Electric Cars’. There will undoubtedly be more to follow in the near future and maybe a docu-drama film too a la ‘The Social Network’.

Have we missed any documentaries that you think are a must-see? Let us know via Twitter or LinkedIn