Film details human impacts on Earth

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The NWT chapter of the Council of Canadians (COC) is bringing an award-winning film to Yellowknife for a screening this week.

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch bills itself as “a cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive re-engineering of the planet” and follows an international body of scientists known as the Anthropocene Working Group.

Meaghan Richens/NNSL photo
A photograph from the Anthropocene exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Edward Burtynsky’s photograph, titled Lithium Mines #1, shows salt flats in the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Anthropocene is a scientific term for the current geological period, characterized by human activities and their influence on the Earth. The beginning of this geological age is generally considered to be the 1800s, or the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and includes lasting changes like global warming, according to the Anthropocene Working Group.

The documentary is the third in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Lansdcapes and Watermark from Canadian producers and directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and photographer Edward Burtynsky.

The screening in Yellowknife is being held in conjunction with five other COC chapters across the country. In addition, related photography exhibits are currently at the National Gallery of Canada and at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the fall. ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch will have its European premiere next week at the Berlin International Film Festival.

“There’s an amazing connection between art, photography and the natural world,” said Lois Little, co-chair of the Council of Canadians NWT Chapter.

This film is extremely timely in terms of raising consciousness about how our species is changing our planet, she said.

“The COC, we’re so involved in social justice and environmental justice work and, of course, wrapped in that is climate change,” she said.

The bigger motivation behind showing a film with powerful images like this is to incite some mobilization around change, said Little.

“Coincidentally, this in an election year in the NWT and in Canada and this is an election issue – and the GNWT has come out with a strategy that’s business as usual.”

The screening will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Northern United Place, with admission by donation.

“We don’t want money to be barrier. We want everyone who can to come and see,” Little said.

Watch the trailer here.

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