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Science on Screen: Extinction and Otherwise


The threat of extinction is more palpable than ever. Whether it is the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather, or species decline, most living creatures have had some brush with disaster in their lifetimes. Featuring scripted and non-scripted films that depict extinction, survival, and life as it might be, this season of Science on Screen is organized by themes that draw attention to socioeconomic, political, and ecological structures that have contributed to our unstable times. Including Woman in the Dunes, Force Majeure, Annihilation, and a number of new films, programs are paired with writing by scientists, scholars, and filmmakers examining the ways extinction is perpetuated and yet life persists within new landscapes.

Organized by Sonia Epstein, Associate Curator of Science and Film

Part of our ongoing Science on Screen series

Program Six, The Future:
September 25 & October 23

Where are we going? Screenings: Soylent Green, Earth II

Program Five, Capitalocene:
August 21 

Global capitalism has incentivized systems of destruction and waste, domination and extraction, which have specific, local consequences, explored in this pairing. Screenings: Europium and Ascension.

Program Four, Resurrection:
July 10

These recent films explore real and surreal efforts to bring back dead species. Screenings: Taxidermize Me and Holgut.

Program Three, Collapse:
May 22
Disappearing species, which cause biodiversity loss and change local and global ecologies, have also inspired creative imaginings, as seen in this pairing of documentary and science fiction. Screenings: Birds of America, Annihilation.

Program Two, Response:
March 17 & April 17
From self-preservation to guilt, and from devastation to denial, these films examine material and spiritual responses to inclement and existential threats. Screenings: Bunker, Force Majeure, First Reformed.

Program One, Inequality:
February 13
Two celebrated black-and-white films highlight how people of different backgrounds are variably impacted by disasters. Screenings: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil, Woman in the Dunes.