Our Pillars in Popular Media

Sustainable Development in Movies


An apocalyptic movie that provides a unique glance at what would need to occur in order to address a global apocalypse. The movie focuses on the efforts of its main characters as they try to survive the collapse of the world and get to the safety of the Arks built by world governments. 2012 provides an opportunity for those watching to better understand SDGs 9 and 13 which focus on innovation and climate change respectively. With the world governments building Ark ships to save only a set number of people it highlights the need for innovative responses to consider everyone who could be affected and how to best accommodate to such expectations. The movie also impresses upon its viewers the importance of being aware of the changing climate and how its effects may be understated by figures of authority.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 11 November 2009

Director: Roland Emmerich

Content/Age Warning: 13+, depictions of life-threatening situations, mild violence, and language.

Genre: Sci-fi

The Sea Beast

This is an animated movie that has connections to SDGs 4 and 14. SDG 4 emphasizes the need for quality education and throughout the movie it becomes clear that the educational practices of the authorities do not accurately reflect the truth of the society and its history. SDG 14 discusses the importance of protecting the biodiversity of the ocean. The Sea Beast primarily focuses on how the hunting of the large monsters has affected the balance of the seas and how the humans in the movie have nearly destroyed the overall ecosystem. It reveals the need to ensure that every part of the society is benefiting from the authority's decisions.

Additional Information

Release Date: 15 June 2022

Director: Chris Williams

Content/Age Warning: 7+, mild cartoon violence.

Genre: Fantasy

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

This is a movie that represents two Sustainable Development Goals (2 and 12). SDG 2 seeks to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture. This movie finds itself centered around an invention that produces mass quantities of food for the small island nation it takes place on. SDG 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. As the movie progresses viewers are shown how forgoing the warnings about overproduction and overconsumption threatens the safety of the citizens of the world.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 04 November 2009

Director(s): Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Content/Age Warning: 7+, mild cartoon violence.

Genre: Fiction

A Life on Our Planet

This is a documentary that encourages three Sustainable Development Goals (4, 13, and 15). SDG 4 emphasizes the importance of a quality education, and this documentary seeks to provide an education with regard to the vitality we must associate with living on Earth. SDG 13 encourages actors to participate in beneficial climate action to preserve the world, and this documentary highlights things we may yet lose due to the inaction and lack of will towards fulfilling these responsibilities. SDG 15 describes the importance of protecting land-based ecosystems, and this documentary demonstrates the intricacies of these very same ecosystems and their importance to our survival.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 28 September 2020

Director(s): Jonathan Hughes, Keith Scholey, Alastair Fothergill

Content/Age Warning: 3+, mild depictions of animal violence.

Genre: Documentary

Birds of Prey and the Fantabulous Emancipation of Harley Quinn

This movie contains themes that closely tie it to Sustainable Development Goals 5 and 16. SDG focuses on gender equality and throughout this movie the audience is shown a female anti-hero who seeks to show that the men in her city are continuous threats to her safety and the safety of other women. Goal 16 focuses on justice and, though the justice achieved in this movie comes from violence, justice is achieved in its own way. The plot follows Harley on her search for reasserting her new found freedom, and in it she finds a bigger host of things to protect and in the end builds up her own institution for ensuring her brand of justice (in Gotham City) is maintained.

Additional Information:

Release Date: 07 February 2020

Director: Cathy Yan

Content/Age Warning: 17+, language, suggestive content, depictions of violence and implications of sexual harassment.

Genre: Fiction


Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development for Peace