The ‘Overview Effect’
On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment. Check out the site HERE.
“Overview” is a stand-alone short film and a prelude to a full-length documentary, “Continuum.”
We are in the midst of an ecological crisis of an unprecedented scale, with implications not only for mankind’s social, economic and political spheres, but for the life system of the planet as a whole.
One of the fundamental factors underlying this crisis is our worldview: the way we see the world around us and our relationships to each other, the planet, and the cosmos as a whole. Our worldview informs our values, behaviour, and way of life in such a way that some environmentalists have declared the environmental crisis to actually be a ‘crisis of worldview’. One dominant feature of our ordinary worldview is the misperception that we are separate from each other and the greater systems we are embedded within.
CONTINUUM is a feature-length documentary that explores this sense of separation and its roots in language, perception and our evolution. The journey will take us from the first stirrings of life to the emergence of a global brain; from the complexity and wonder of a single plant cell to the emerging biomimetic technologies that are changing the way we build the future; and from the appearance of modern humans to the planetary crisis we face today.
Along the way, multiple perspectives guide the journey – both scientific and philosophical, ancient and modern – in an attempt to see things as they are. These insights show that the deepest and widest sense of identity we can have encompasses not just the story of all life on this planet, but the legacy of matter and energy running back in time through the stars to the origin of the universe.