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Cinema Ecologica: header Spaceship Earth + Silent Running

Spaceship Earth + Silent Running

Cinema Ecologica: Spaceship Earth + Silent Running

The documentary Spaceship Earth is a sober counterpart to the SF film Silent Running in which a botanist aboard a spaceship risks it all to keep planet earth’s last plants alive. Spaceship Earth follows eight, young ‘biospherians’ who are locked into a gigantic glass dome with various ecosystems for two years with dramatic results. Double bill.

poster Cinema Ecologica: Spaceship Earth + Silent Running
Patricia Pisters, professor of Film Studies at the University of Amsterdam, introduces two visionary films on attempts to live in cooperation and co-creation with nature.


  • poster Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf, US 2020)

    Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf, US 2020, 113')

    Was it a silly hippie project, applied biology, a social experiment, or art? Eight young adventurers locked themselves in a hermetically sealed replica of planet Earth's ecosystem, the Biosphere 2, for two years in 1991. The only influence from outside was the sunlight streaming in through the dome. Biosphere 2 was an experiment to find out how people can live in ecological balance with nature.

    Soon, however, the group was trying to survive; CO2 emissions increased, harvests were disappointing and the experiments did not meet scientific standards. After two years, the participants left the biosphere very emaciated and exhausted.

    Matt Wolf's documentary is the down-to-earth counterpart to the SF movie Silent Running, in which a botanist in a spaceship does everything he can to preserve the last living plants of planet Earth. John Allen's dream was to make other planets suitable for human habitation with Biosphere-like domes.

  • poster Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, US 1971)

    Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, US 1971, 89')

    Is there hope for humanity? Perhaps, if botanist Freeman Lowell can succeed in keeping the last trees and crops that could be saved alive in greenhouses in space. Douglas Trumbull’s eco science fiction from 1972 became a cult hit with a serious, urgent message.

    Botanist Freeman Lowell is flying to the Rings of Saturn in a stolen spaceship, with the last trees and gardens from planet Earth on board. Will he succeed in saving botanical life from Earth?

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237 min.

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Part of

Cinema Ecologica

Much in life is uncertain, but one thing is sure: climate change. Cinema Ecologica focuses on how film directors depict the relationship between humanity and the earth: from nail-biting disaster films to artistic meditations, from romantic nature experiences to astounding science fiction.

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still Spaceship Earth (Matt Wolf, US 2020)
still Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, US 1971)
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Current exhibition

  • 8 June — 29 September 2024

    Albert Serra


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