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The Best Nature Documentaries to Watch Right Now

The Best Nature Documentaries to Watch Right Now

For years, documentary filmmakers have been highlighting the species, people and habitats that make up our beautiful natural world – from the threats being faced, to the communities and animals on the frontlines. As the protection of the environment and climate has never been more urgent, there are a whole range of documentaries to educate and help us better appreciate the natural world. Nature documentaries give us the wonders of the outside world without us even having to move from the sofa. We’ve selected a range of films available to watch on demand now via DIRECTV, that tell important stories about the world around us.  

‘March of the Penguins’ (2005) 

Who wouldn’t want to watch a film about the most lovable and fascinating animals on the planet? Oscar-winning movie March of the Penguins tells the story of Emperor penguins through breathtaking cinematography – all narrated by the sensational Morgan Freeman. It captures the journey the penguins take every year as they travel 70 miles to their breeding grounds, fighting almost impossible conditions through incredible resilience. Beneath the stunning visuals, March of the Penguins also tells the story of a changing climate and its devastating impact on our planet’s ecosystems. Released in 2005, the film has been praised for being ahead of its time in alerting us to the climate crisis and our responsibility to protect the natural world. 

‘Fire of Love’ (2022)  

Fire of Love is not only a story of the power and brutality of volcanoes, but it is also a tale of love. Using exceptional archive footage shot by the two protagonists themselves, Fire of Love follows volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft and their lives dedicated to the study of volcanoes. For 20 years, the French couple daringly explored the planet, chasing eruptions and documenting their discoveries through photography and film. They were ultimately killed in a 1991 volcanic eruption, but left a lasting legacy that enriched our knowledge of the natural world.  

Planet Earth (2006)

David Attenborough has dedicated his life to telling the stories of the world around us. Any of his series of nature documentaries, from Blue Planet to Frozen Planet, are worth a watch to enrich your mind and connection with the environment. The series are some of the best out there, and are available to watch through DIRECTV. To get you started, the 11-part Discovery and BBC series Planet Earth, is the culmination of a five-year global odyssey tracking the wonders and perils of the world’s fragile ecosystems – from oceans to the deserts and polar ice caps. 

‘Jane’ (2017) 

From Oscar-nominated director Brett Morgen (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck), Jane is a fascinating portrait about the woman who would pave the way for a new understanding of primates. Using previously unseen archive footage from National Geographic, the film tells the story of famed wildlife expert Jane Goodall in her early explorations in Tanzania, focusing on her groundbreaking fieldwork and study of chimpanzees.

‘Grizzly Man’ (2005) 

Grizzly Man tells the story of environmentalist and amateur bear expert Timothy Treadwell, who spent 13 summers living among grizzly bears in Alaska’s Katmai National Park until he and his partner were killed by the animal in 2003. Directed by Werner Herzog (the German film director best known for features such as Heart of Glass and Fitzcarraldo), Grizzly Man interrogates the relationship between humans and wildlife, and ultimately exposes the dangers of reckless behavior in the wild. 

‘Salt of the Earth’ (2014)

Another film touching on the delicate relationship between humans and the natural world, Salt of the Earth looks at the life and work of Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado. Salgado has spent his career documenting the beauty and complexity of the natural world, but also our destructive impact on the environment. As you’ll see in the film, his images are exceptionally powerful, and his exploration of environmental and social issues through the power of photography is awe-inspiring. 

Where to Watch Nature Docs on DIRECTV?

If you want to dive into the natural wonders of the world, DIRECTV has you covered without you even having to step outside. Through DIRECTV packages, you’ll find the most popular documentary networks like A&E, HBO, History Channel, National Geographic and more. Plus, you get a variety of movies on demand. Just tune in and press play.   

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