Rivers are an essential part of life on Earth – they carry potable water, they allow animals and humans to travel far distances, and they help to drain rainwater. It’s no surprise then to learn that there are lots of movies about rivers, many of which are excellent. We thought we’d round up what we believe to be the best movies about rivers, based on our opinions and critical reception. Let’s get into the list:
A River Changes Course (2013)
This documentary isn’t solely about a river, but the title of the entire theme of the film relates to 2 rivers in Cambodia – the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River, and there is plenty of footage of both rivers throughout the film. The Tonle Sap River changes course twice a year, and this was the inspiration for the name of the film as it reflects the changing lives of the people in Cambodia. We love this documentary and recommend you watch it.
White Water, Black Gold (2010)
This is another documentary that follows a filmmaker as he travels down the Athabasca River so he can see how the search for oil threatens the river. It has an investigative feel to it and the revelations that are brought to life via the film are quite shocking. The documentary spans 3 years and gives a disturbing insight into the dirtiest oil industry in the world.
Return of the River (2014)
This documentary is about the Elwha River in Washington State, and how a community fought to set the river free from 2 dams. It actually ended up being the largest dam removal in history. The community wanted to set the river free to try and restore the ecosystem, and against all the odds their plan worked. This film highlights how important a river can be to a community, and how a small group can take on large organizations and win.