spaceship earth

★★★

DIRECTOR: matt wolf (wild combination: a portrait of arthur russell)
documentary

 

now streaming on docplay. 

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Miss Fisher's adventures take her to the big screen as she unwraps a war time mystery that takes her all around the world. 

Spaceship Earth is the true, stranger-than-fiction, adventure of eight visionaries who in 1991 spent two years quarantined inside of a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem called Biosphere 2. The experiment was a worldwide phenomenon, chronicling daily existence in the face of life threatening ecological disaster and a growing criticism that it was nothing more than a cult. The bizarre story is both a cautionary tale and a hopeful lesson of how a small group of dreamers can potentially reimagine a new world.

 

You couldn’t get a more perfect film for lockdown than Spaceship Earth. Many of us having to keep to our own ‘bubble’ during lockdown could find common ground with the eight people who sealed themselves off from the world in their own metallic bubble. 

 

Spaceship Earth devotes the first act of its film to exploring the origins of Biosphere 2 from the collective in San Francisco who’s minds were set on a utopia. Their only real experience before Biosphere 2 was in the creation of a theatre company and self sustainable community in Mexico. 

 

But the real drama unfolds in the breakdown of the Biosphere 2 where the two years of the experiment is embroiled in everything from power struggles within the organisation to outside help. 

 

Spaceship Earth doesn’t delve into a deep critique of the science or does much to demystify Biosphere 2’s charismatic leader John Allen - who at the time was called a cult leader by some of the press. 

 

Even though it doesn’t delve too deep, Spaceship Earth is nonetheless a fascinating tale of the human experience in all its hopeful wonder and failings, and a cautious reminder of the frailty of our own world’s ecosystem.

★★★

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