By Ben Kenigsberg | The New York Times
“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” puts a frightening twist on the standard nature documentary. Rather than exalting the awesome beauty of landscapes or animals, it captures alarming ways in which that beauty has been disturbed.
The movie takes its cues from the research of the Anthropocene Working Group, a team of scientists who in 2016 recommended a formal declaration of the end of Earth’s Holocene epoch, which began as many as 12,000 years ago. They argued that we are now in a new geologic phase, the Anthropocene epoch — a time when humans now change the Earth more than all the planet’s natural processes combined.
The film, part of a multidisciplinary project by Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, hops from continent to continent to depict the scale of those disruptions, which at times have an almost science fiction quality.
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