Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

Showed at Images 10/25/2019–10/31/2019

Starring: Narrated by Alicia Vikander

Our presentation of Anthropocene is sponsored in part by the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies and MCLA's Department of Environmental Studies.

Admission to Anthropocene is free for Williams College students on Monday, October 28 + Tuesday, October 29 (both 2:30 + 7pm shows). Admission is free for MCLA students to any show October 25 through Thursday, October 31.

Tuesday, October 29 at 7pm: Sarah Gardner, Associate Director of the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies, will introduce the film and discuss afterwards with Anne O'Connor, COOL Committee and Williamstown Selectwoman.

Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm: Elena Traister, Chair of the MCLA Environmental Studies, will introduce the film and discuss afterwards.

A cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is a four years in the making feature documentary film from the multiple-award winning team of Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and industrial landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky.

Third in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013), the film follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group who, after nearly 10 years of research, are arguing that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century, because of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth.

From concrete seawalls in China that now cover 60% of the mainland coast, to the biggest terrestrial machines ever built in Germany, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to metal festivals in the closed city of Norilsk, to the devastated Great Barrier Reef in Australia and surreal lithium evaporation ponds in the Atacama desert, the filmmakers have traversed the globe using high end production values and state of the art camera techniques to document evidence and experience of human planetary domination.

At the intersection of art and science, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch witnesses in an experiential and non-didactic sense a critical moment in geological history — bringing a provocative and unforgettable experience of our species’ breadth and impact.

  • Director: Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier
  • Runtime: 1 hour 27 minutes
  • Genre: Documentary

“Anthropocene is packed with such shattering images and astounding ironies. Shocking and beautiful, the film impresses itself on the viewer with the awesome scale of the imagery – and with the urgency behind it.”

– The Globe and Mail