Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

Film can be a bridge between abstract, difficult topics and the perception of these issues by the public. The documentary “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” premiered in 2018 featuring the work of Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, who all worked to capture the world changing for the worse and the people studying such transition. The film travels around the world capturing some of the most striking examples of how humanity has altered the environment: sea walls that cover 60% of the mainland coasts, lithium evaporation ponds in the Atacama desert, the decimated Barrier Reef, and massive piles of poached ivory are just some of the examples showcased in the film. The striking visual story is mixed with scientific commentary from a group of researchers called the Anthropocene Working group, who argue that humanity has ended the Holocene epoch, which lasted tens of thousands of years, and started the Anthropocene epoch, which its unrivalled pace and scale of the environment alteration. The film was the third in a series of documentaries about environmental degradation, and was generally well-received, specifically for its high impact imagery. However, there were criticisms that the film did not leave the viewer with any information on what was left to be done. While the team acknowledges this shortcoming, their intention was primarily to grow awareness, leaving action to the individuals and the many other organizations suited to make recommendations.


Aesthetic/Leisure, Climate Change, Illegal Resource Extraction, Psychology, Visual Technologies