Events / Movie Night Monday: Featuring The Water Center at Penn’s Film Picks

Movie Night Monday: Featuring The Water Center at Penn’s Film Picks

August 23, 2021
10 Films with Water Topics or Themes

It’s Movie Night Monday and we invite you to indulge in a water-related film from the comfort of your couch! Get inspired to make an impact on the future of water with one of these suggested films featuring rivers from around the world, stories of water and environmental justice, and overcoming the odds to protect our environment, health and future generations. #WaterCenterTurns3 #WCPMovieNight

Here are our staff picks to help you kick off The Water Center at Penn’s Anniversary this Movie Night Monday:


Return of the River

A film about the largest dam removal project in the history of the United States, and the extraordinary effort to restore an ecosystem and set a river free. “Return of the River” is the documentary film that lives up to the grandeur of the Elwha, its renewal, and its promise. The film follows a coalition of people who attempt the impossible: to change the opinion of a town and eventually the nation to bring two dams down. A divided community comes to consensus, launching an unprecedented restoration effort. Stream on Amazon


Thirsty for Justice: the struggle for the human right to water

In the richest nation on earth, and wealthiest state in the nation, how can so many people lack access to safe affordable water for their basic human needs? From the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water in California, Thirsty for Justice shares powerful stories of those who suffer from this assault on their personal health and human dignity, as well as the inspiring story of the grassroots movement that made the human right to water the law of the land in California. Stream here


A River’s Last Chance

The Eel River in Northern California is arguably the best opportunity for wild salmon recovery on the entire west coast. The river and salmon have weathered decades of over fishing, abusive logging, catastrophic floods and droughts, a hydro power dam that diverts water out of the basin. Today the Eels recovering wild salmon compete for water with the region’s underground multi-billion dollar cannabis economy and the multi-billion dollar wine industries of Sonoma and Mendocino. This film is rooted in the belief that we can live symbiotically with our watersheds and encourage both a river’s recovery and economic future. Stream on Vimeo or Amazon


NETFLIX Our Planet: Fresh Water

David Attenborough’s Emmy Award-winning project for Netflix centers how climate change impacts all living creatures. This episode highlights the need for fresh water is as strong as ever. However, the supply is becoming increasingly unpredictable for all manner of species. Stream on Netflix


Changing Currents

Changing Currents is a platform for unique Native perspectives and experiences related to water – its place in our cultures, our creation stories, and our daily lives. Check out this collection of short films and videos from Northwest Tribes that reflect Indigenous values around our water resources, and efforts underway to protect and preserve rivers, cultures and ways of life for future generations. Visit


NETFLIX Explained | World’s Water Crisis: Season 1 Episode 19

A look at the global water crisis, as experts strive to determine how to price the world’s most valuable resource, while continuing to respect access and human rights. Stream on Netflix or Youtube


Toilet: Ek Prem Katha

Keshav and Jaya are from two villages near Mathura where at least 80% of households have no access to lavatories. Conflict comes knocking on the first day of their marriage, when Jaya discovers that Keshav’s home has no toilet and she leaves. Distraught and desperate, Keshav embarks on a mission to win back his love by battling against the age-old traditions, mindset, and value system of his country. Stream on Netflix


Brave Blue World

Brave Blue World explores the technologies and innovations that have the potential to solve the world’s water crisis. The film highlights scientific and technological advancements that have been taking place to ensure the world’s population has access to clean water and safe sanitation services and the environment is protected. Narrated by actor Liam Neeson, Brave Blue World features scientists, engineers and activists from around the world, including actor Matt Damon, co-founder of global non-profit, and actor and musician Jaden Smith, co-founder of non-profit 501CThree. Stream on Netflix



Watermark is a feature documentary from multiple-award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, marking their second collaboration after Manufactured Landscapes in 2006. The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. We see massive floating abalone farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu, six times the size of the Hoover. We visit the barren desert delta where the mighty Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, and the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka. We witness how humans are drawn to water, from the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, where thirty million people gather for a sacred bath in the Ganges at the same time. We speak with scientists who drill ice cores two kilometers deep into the Greenland Ice Sheet, and explore the sublime pristine watershed of Northern British Columbia. Shot in stunning 5K ultra high-definition video and full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element, as well as the magnitude of our need and use. In Watermark, the viewer is immersed in a magnificent force of nature that we all too often take for granted- until it’s gone. Stream on Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Youtube, or Google Play


Last Call at the Oasis

A look at the vital role of water, exposing the defects in the current system, the communities already struggling with the effects of water shortages and the individuals who are championing revolutionary solutions. Stream on Amazon Prime Video or Apple TV