IDFA Review: The Magnitude of All Things

Our world is dying. It has been for millions of years. However, since the industrial revolution, the actions of man have greatly speeded up this process. The acceleration has spiked within the last two decades, driven by the incessant demands of consumerism and the perpetual need for more energy. The Earth has reached a tipping point. Without urgent action today, there is unlikely to be many generations of human life left on this planet. Climate change is the biggest crisis we’ve ever faced.

It’s easy to feel overawed and overwhelmed by the task at hand. The melting of the icecaps, the build-up of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, deforestation, rising sea levels, pollution of our oceans, mass extinction events, habitat destruction…The list seems endless. In Jennifer Abbott’s new documentary, The Magnitude of All Things, she attempts to quantify this sorrow with how the destruction of a planet can feel like the grief caused by the death of a loved one.

In The Magnitude of All Things, Abbott travels the world speaking to people who have experienced and felt environmental catastrophe on a personal level. Including communities destroyed by forest fires and bleaching of the coral in Australia, the gradual sinking of Kiribati, the permanently changed landscape of Nunatsiavut and mining in the Amazon Rainforest. The Magnitude of All Things successfully tackles the bigger picture by concentrating on individual impacts. It does so in a compelling, informative and emotive way.

The Magnitude of All Things screens at IDFA.

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