Welcome To The Anthropocene

This short film ‘Welcome To Antrhopocene’ is a three minute animated short by a company of the same name. The website’s opening statement reads:

‘The Anthropocene defines Earth’s most recent geologic time period as being human-influenced, or anthropogenic, based on overwhelming global evidence that atmospheric, geologic, hydrologic, biospheric and other earth system processes are now altered by humans.’

The documentary is somewhat of a gentle opening into the topic as it briefly explains what anthropocene is and what its primary causes and effects are. The film maintains a single continuous shot with graphics and narration as the primary source of information and entertainment.

One of the key elements of the documentary’s first two minutes is a line graph in the foreground continuously rising until it reaches the top of the screen. The Y axis of the line graph is labelled:

  • Population
  • Methane
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Tropical Forest Loss
  • Domesticated Land
  • Energy
  • Motor Vehicles
  • Telephones
  • Temperature
  • Tourism
  • Biodiversity Loss
  • Water Use
  • Urban Population
  • Ozone Depletion
  • Fisheries Exploited
  • Nitrogen Flux
  • Foreign Investment
  • Fertiliser
  • Rare Earths

Having such an extensive list of topics that have increased due to anthropocentrism ensures that the documentary includes an abundance of information while extending no more than three and a half minutes. This aspect is quite impressive to me and also interesting to explore as the 5 minute time frame given to the short film brief is very limiting in suitably offering a substantial amount of information.

The narrator’s voice is very calm and almost robotic. Having a female voiceover is uncommon within the documentary genre, however in this instance it has been used to maintain an ambience of serenity, somewhat in a juxtaposition to the words that she is saying. This makes the script even more poignant as the calmness of the narration is rather unnerving with lines such as: ‘we are losing biodiversity’ or ‘ocean acidification is a real threat’ or ‘we have made a hole in the ozone layer’ installing fear into most viewers.

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The Burning Question

This documentary about the impacts of climate change on third world countries and the burning fossil fuels was highly informative. Lines such as: ‘As a result of climate change, an extra 50,000,000 people could be at risk of hunger by 2050’ are stated within the first minute of the documentary, highlighting the issues raised throughout to be hot topics.

The narration and footage have been edited together in sync so that what the audience hears is reaffirmed by what they see:

‘Climate is becoming a hot topic

Wild Fire

from cabinet tables

Irish Parliament

to university campuses

University Campus

more and more people are sitting up and paying attention’

Crowds at climate protest

Make Inishturk Great Again: Poster

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The colour of text, green, white and orange, is immediately representative of Ireland and consequently the content of the film can be understood to be about the country. The use of an image of Donald Trump is iconic and relates to the phrase ‘Make Iniishturk Great Again’ with regards to his famous campaign ‘Make America Great Again’. This is effective at creating humour as the disgruntled expression of Trump’s face in front of the scerenity of the grazing sheep allows for the title to be understood as a joke.

sheep synonymous uk countryside

contrast with phone