Parents' Guide to

8 Billion Angels

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Sophisticated overpopulation docu is too dry for kids.

Movie NR 2021 78 minutes
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What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Getting kids engaged in saving the planet through details about the impact of industrial farming, overfishing, and industrialization is a heavy lift. Overpopulation may not be on all teens' or kids' minds, but perhaps it should be, given where the trajectory of the responsibility of saving the planet is heading. But when farmers and scientists explain the shocking realities of what they're witnessing and measuring using words like "calcium carbonate," "nitrogen," and "cyanotoxins," kids' eyes may glaze over.

This film is an explainer in four acts: It discusses overpopulation's effects on oceans, on land, and on humanity and then ultimately offers solutions. While personal stories are woven in throughout, even those contain an assumption of knowledge that doesn't necessarily extend to kids. The film's more visceral impact comes with a discussion of how overconsumption by Americans impacts poor people in other countries, leading to disease and death. There's a description of how impoverished people in India are drinking "black water" that's full of chemicals and excrement, accompanied by images of methane bubbling atop the water's surface and a man lying in the street with a bandaged leg. Kids who are able to follow the movie's cerebral conversation may end up feeling emotionally distressed by their own personal responsibility. But the dialogue is so academic that many won't likely take on that anxiety. Still, a couple of well-placed quotes may leave them with a lasting thought, particularly this one: "When you borrow something, you give it back in better shape than when you find it." And once they truly absorb that, there may be a lasting resentment toward adults who didn't do that with our planet.

Movie Details

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