To honor Earth Day, OVID has assembled a unique collection of films on environmental issues from independent filmmakers around the world.

This collection includes new releases like the historical films CIRCUIT EARTH, which features appearances by Allen Ginsberg, Paul Ehrlich, George Wald, the Broadway cast of HAIR, Jerry Rubin, Alan Watts, and Ralph Nader, and WALKING ON WATER WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY, which capture footage from the birth of the environmental movement, and the very first Earth Day.

We also have two new documentary series: the Dutch FOOD FOR THOUGHT and ELSEWHERE by the Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter, director of OUR DAILY BREAD, HOMO SAPIENS, and most recently, EARTH (in theaters now).

Check out these films and documentaries on Edith and Eddie, America’s oldest interracial couple and the family drama that threatens to ensue their idyllic relationship; a treatise on unconventional beauty, which follows the photographer Rick Guidotti; and another on Arab identity in post 9/11 America. More details below:

Food for Thought
Directed by Martijn Vervoort; Viewpoint Productions, Documentary Series

In the 7-part TV series FOOD FOR THOUGHT, seven young people start a dialogue with seven philosophers. As food is simply the best way to connect with one another, we cook and eat together while reflecting on crucial life questions. By bringing philosophy into the kitchen, we put theory into practice; we taste and chew on new ideas, apply different concepts, and inspire each other. Together we explore these different ways of thinking to find solutions for our most pressing issues.

Cooked: Survival by Zipcode
Directed by Judith Helfand; Kartemquin, Documentary

In her signature serious-yet-quirky connect-the-dots style, Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Judith Helfand takes audiences from the deadly 1995 Chicago heat disaster deep into one of our nation’s biggest growth industries – Disaster Preparedness. Along the way she forges inextricable links between extreme weather, extreme disparity and the politics of ‘disaster’; daring to ask: what if a zip code was just a routing number, and not a life-or-death sentence?

Directed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter; Icarus Films, Documentary Series

From Nikolaus Geyrhalter, the director of OUR DAILY BREAD, comes this IDFA Special Jury Award-winning documentary, an epic journey to twelve remote and rarely glimpsed locales and communities around the world.

Geyrhalter films expansive vistas of desert, snow, jungle, ice, and rainforest, travels with a scooter-riding Finnish reindeer herdsman, visits the home of a Namibian couple with relational problems, ventures out to sea with a Sardinian fisherman. In observational and striking visual portraits, impressions of modernization’s influence on traditional societies emerge.

An homage to humanity, ELSEWHERE is a nuanced portrait of life—fragile and resilient—at the start of the 21st century.

Circuit Earth
Directed by John Abrahall, Christopher Bamford, Robert Feldman, Michael Katz, Peter Krotoczynski; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

CIRCUIT EARTH was produced in honor of the first Earth Day in 1970. Shot throughout Philadelphia during Earth Week in the lead up to festival, and at the festival itself, the film features community groups, citizens, and celebrities-all reflecting on the crisis facing the planet at the end of the 60s. The structure of the film reflects the thinking of anthropologist, philosopher, author, naturalist and systems theorist, Gregory Bateson (An Ecology Of Mind). Amongst those appearing are Allen Ginsberg, Senator Ed Muskie, Paul Ehrlich, George Wald, the Broadway cast of HAIR, Jerry Rubin, Alan Watts, Ralph Nader, Redbone and Ed Sanders of The Fugs.

Walking on Water Wasn’t Built in a Day
Directed by John Abrahall, Christopher Bamford, Robert Feldman, Michael Katz, Peter Krotoczynski; Bullfrog Films, Documentary

In April 1970 the first Earth Day in Philadelphia was actually a week of celebrations for Mother Earth. This film was shot in and around the city, with cameo appearances and observations by the likes of Terry Southern, Jerry Rubin, mayor John Lindsay, and Wavy Gravy. But the film features Allen Ginsburg, both at the main event on Belmont Plateau and during a van ride across Pennsylvania, in which he riffs on American culture and society, at a meal at HoJo’s and reading a poem on the banks of the Susquehanna. The talk is of polarization and the battle for the soul of America. Fifty years later, the argument goes on.

Directed by Laura Checkoway; Kartemquin, Documentary

Edith and Eddie, ages 96 and 95, are America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. Their unusual and idyllic love story is disrupted by a family feud that threatens to tear the couple apart.

On Beauty
Directed by Joanna Rudnick; Kartemquin, Documentary

On Beauty follows fashion photographer Rick Guidotti, who left the fashion world when he grew frustrated with having to work within the restrictive parameters of the industry’s standard of beauty. After a chance encounter with a young woman who had the genetic condition albinism, Rick re-focused his lens on those too often relegated to the shadows to change the way we see and experience beauty.

At the center of On Beauty are two of Rick’s photo subjects: Sarah, who left public school for homeschool after being bullied so harshly for the Sturge-Weber birthmark on her face and brain; and Jayne, who lives in Eastern Africa where witch doctors hunt people with albinism to sell their body parts and the society is blind to their unique health and safety needs.

American Arab
Directed by Usama Alshaibi; Kartemquin, Documentary

Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland.