Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

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Canada | 2018 | 87 minutes | Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky

September 25, 2019

The filmmakers of Manufactured Landscapes (SIFF 2006) construct a beautiful and timely meditation on humanity's massive, destructive reengineering of the planet and the ways in which we've permanently altered its climate. Narrated by Oscar®-winner Alicia Vikander.

In Immermath, Germany, the world's biggest excavator lumbers through a massive open-pit mine, its behemoth bucket-wheel rhythmically plowing into soft earth for a sight alternately awe-inspiring and haunting. Seemingly more like a small city on tracks, the giant has systematically destroyed a series of small towns in the name of some form of necessary progress. In Chile's Atacama Desert, lake-sized lithium fields-aglow in multicolored yellow, orange, and red water-evaporate under the scorching sun in order to extract the precious element that makes environmentally friendly hybrid-car batteries possible. In central London, underground bunkers used to protect citizens during WWII are converted into subterranean farms in a city with precious little agricultural space. Traveling the globe on a four-year quest to document the ways in which humans have impacted the planet and altered its future-and inspired by the Anthropocene Working Group as they lobby the scientific community to name our current age the Anthropocene, or Human Epoch-directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky have created a stunning documentary of almost spiritual force and surreal, jaw-dropping beauty that's equal parts horror and hope, often within the same image.

  • Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky
  • Principal Cast: Alicia Vikander
  • Country: Canada
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 87 minutes
  • Producer: Nicholas de Pencier
  • Screenplay: Jennifer Baichwal
  • Language: English, Russian, Italian, German, Mandarin, Cantonese
  • Has Subtitles: Yes