Examines whether human impact has tipped the planet into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, with all of its political, social and behavioral implications.
Directed by Steve Bradshaw
Produced by Jenny Richards
Editor: Sotira Kyriacou
Cinematography: Alex Gabbay, Magne Ostby, Stefano Cassini
Music: Audio Network
Produced by Flaxmoor Productions in association with Panos Pictures, Spring Films, TV/E
[Note: Community screenings of ANTHROPOCENE can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
"Far and away the best...Should appeal to anyone with an interest in the future of humanity." Frank Oldfield, The Anthropocene Review
A Working Group of international scientists is deciding whether to declare a new geological epoch - the Anthropocene - a planet shaped more by mankind than nature. Its members tell the story of the Anthropocene and argue whether it's a tragedy, a comedy, or something more surreal. With archival footage, award-winning stills and interviews, ANTHROPOCENE proposes a common secular narrative for mankind but leaves viewers to decide how we should write the ending. The film has the blessing of Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, who coined the term, and is the first feature film about the Anthropocene. It is now our turn to decide--in this decade--how the Anthropocene will end.
Interviewees include Will Steffen, Erle Ellis, Jan Zalasiewicz, Andrew Revkin, John McNeil, Monica Berger Gonzalez, Eric Odada, Davor Vidas.
A shorter version of ANTHROPOCENE ideal for classroom use is available here.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2016
Copyright Date: 2015
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-55-6
"This is an excellent film with beautiful pictures and authentic interviews. Thanks to the film makers for a tremendous job and compelling introduction to the Anthropocene."
Paul J. Crutzen, Atmospheric chemist, Nobel Prize Laureate in Chemistry
"This is far and away the best combination of authoritative statements, diverse opinions, contrasted future scenarios, arresting and hugely varied imagery and evocative sounds, all focused on the Anthropocene, that is currently available...It should appeal to anyone with an interest in the future of humanity; it needs to be force fed to all who believe that 'business as usual', driven by the growth obsession of the current neo-liberal, global hegemony is the answer to future welfare and long term survival."
Frank Oldfield, The Anthropocene Review
"Keeps us suspended...Very realistic...Thrilling direction."
7th Room, Milan Design Film Festival
"Highly Recommended...Persuasive, interesting, and easy to watch...Anthropocene is so well made that anyone having an interest in science or in the art of making a persuasive argument will enjoy watching it."
James Gordon, Educational Media Reviews Online
"Anthropocene is definitely fertile ground for discussions concerning the next chapter of the history of human habitation of Earth...Informative and thought-provoking...The more people watch this film and join the global discussion, the more progress we will be able to make, and the more hope we will have."
Sibylle Zavala, H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online
"With the help of fossil fuels, we humans have changed the world as profoundly as a great force of nature--but our actions are mostly leaving a wake of destruction...This gripping film is a balanced portrayal of the issues at stake. It is entertaining, clear, and chilling."
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute, Author, Afterburn: Society Beyond Fossil Fuels
"Anthropocene is a stark depiction of the crass consequences of the choices we have made, as a global society, and the options that await our choice making in the near term future...At its heart, this abridged film unflinchingly makes the case for the looming emergence of homo auctor--a responsible human race. Here's hoping we are able to become humans as benign components of the ecosphere, rather than as a pestilential infestation."
Ashwani Vasishth, Associate Professor of Sustainability Planning, Director, Center for Sustainability, Ramapo College of New Jersey
"This compelling film is bound to fuel discussions in the classroom...Editor's Choice."
Mary Jane Davis, Red Bank Catholic High School, Science Books and Films
"The wisdom, wit, and charm captured from members of Anthropocene Working Group are a perfect match to the stunning photography and video clips...Students will find much useful information on how human endeavors have combined with rising population and energy consumption to see humans become one of the great geological forces in the modern era. I highly recommend this film, both to university students and professionals who are working to understand global environmental change, and to the general public who desire a scientific perspective of the human footprint on our planet."
J.P.M. Syvitski, Executive Director, Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System, Professor of Geological Science, University of Colorado
"One problem in grasping the full impact of the Anthropocene lies in understanding what has transpired before. This film is useful in helping students deal with the problem of shifting baselines and helping them to not only understand how we got here, but more importantly, where we may be headed."
Mark Farmer, Professor and Director of the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Georgia
"A well-made overview of a complex subject, this is strong material for students of many scientific disciplines, as well as classes on ethics and philosophy."
C.A. Fehmel, School Library Journal
"Is it meaningful to say that we are in Anthropocene? This film interviews members of the working group charged with answering this question, organizing their thoughts on key issues into ten short chapters, all interspersed with Anthropocene-related images and clips. Sure to generate discussion."
Hugh Gorman, Professor of Environmental History and Policy, Chair of Social Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Author, The Story of N: A Social History of the Nitrogen Cycle and the Challenge of Sustainability
"Anthropocene does full justice to its topic, which is intensely interdisciplinary and morally complex. The experts it presents reflect a range of approaches and attitudes toward the idea that human activity has moved the Earth out of the Holocene into a new and unprecedented period in its history. The diversity of their views on the key questions the Anthropocene confronts us with, and their expression of both the thrill and the terror it inspires, allows viewers to draw their own conclusions on how to think and feel about the human-made future."
Dr. Zev Trachtenberg, Department of Philosophy, University of Oklahoma
"Anthropocene seeks to answer questions in a moving and thought provoking way through narrative of the issues and in-depth interviews with leading experts. This format provides scholars and students with an excellent platform for discussions regarding the nature of human impacts on the Earth's ecosystems."
Dr. Victor D. Thompson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Director of Center for Archaeological Sciences, University of Georgia
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SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
Host a community screening
Awards and Festivals
Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting
CPH:DOX, Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Cleveland International Film Festival
Transitions Film Festival, Melbourne, Australia
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"In assembling many of the key perspectives on the Anthropocene in one place for the first time, this film provides a valuable opportunity to assess the term's coherence, contradictions, connections with earlier chapters in environmental activism, and ideological investments in the future. Students everywhere should watch and critically discuss the various assertions and interpretations offered by the film's eminent contributors."
Michael Ziser, Associate Professor of English, Co-Director of Environments and Societies Program, University of California-Davis
"Anthropocene does brilliantly introducing viewers to the idea in a way that retains its complexity while at the same time conveying the concept in the visceral way only a well done film can accomplish...The idea of the Anthropocene may be academic, but such ideas have consequences and conveying them to the larger public, as Bradshaw's documentary sets out to do, is extremely important."
Rick Searle, Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies
"Refreshingly, the film is more of a discussion rather than a presentation of a dogma...Would fit well into a secondary study of geology, history or evolutionary science."