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MSU Cinema International Concludes Spring Season, Celebrates Earth Day with 2020 David Attenborough Film "A Life On Our Planet"

Murray State's Cinema International presents "A Life on Our Planet" on Thursday, April 20, and Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 pm in Faculty Hall, room 208.
Murray State University Cinema International
Murray State's Cinema International presents "A Life on Our Planet" on Thursday, April 20, and Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 pm in Faculty Hall, room 208.

Murray State's Cinema International concludes its Spring 2023 season with an Earth Day-themed selection. The program will present two screenings of David Attenborough's 2020 documentary A Life on Our Planet. Austin Carter speaks to program director Dr. Thérèse St. Paul and biology professor Dr. Howard Whiteman ahead of the screenings.

From the MSU Cinema International website:

"In his 93 years, Attenborough has visited every continent on the globe, exploring the wild places of the planet and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. Sir David’s cinematic art not only amazes us visually but alerts us to the monumental scale of humanity's actions on the destruction of the planet. Fortunately, Sir David also wisely gives us concrete steps that we can take to re-wild the Earth and restore Her to a state of balanced sustainability. This is a must-see documentary for anyone who cares about the future of Planet Earth. A huge thank you to Sir David Attenborough!"

"We are ending on an Earth Day note," St. Paul begins. "This is an amazing documentary on nature by David Attenborough. Everybody is familiar with the filmmaker. It is a call to action to save the planet and, as usual, it's stunning."

"When this film was finished, David Attenborough was 93 years old," Whiteman adds. "He created this film in a way to show the history of his own career as a filmmaker and documentarian and also how the world has changed around him as he went through all those different adventures. He starts out as a young child and talks about his youth, but then moves on to his career and the documentation he's done over time, not only of the wonders of the planet but also of how the planet has changed because of humans. So it is both an exposition of those changes as well as a call to action for the rest of us to make things different in our own generation. And he ends on a very positive note in terms of the kinds of things that we are doing and the kinds of things that we could do to make things better on Earth."

"There's a lot of classic David Attenborough in this film," he continues, "but there are also moments when his own emotion—which you don't often see, necessarily, in some of his films—really comes through and, in part, because of all that he's seen and all the changes that he's seen—some of which have been tremendous and brilliant and others that have been really difficult to handle as a person who's lived through those 93 years. In the end, I think it's one of his most impressive films to date."

"One of the things that I've taken away from this film that I think everyone will enjoy is his approach to food and the idea that we have to find a way to continue to feed eight billion people on this planet. How do we do that in a sustainable fashion that doesn't take land, energy, or nutrients away from other organisms or in a way that doesn't pollute the world such that it negatively affects the other life on the planet? I think that people will be inspired by some of the things that are going on already that I don't think many of us are aware of, and that could be expanded in the United States and elsewhere to help solve these problems while even potentially restoring some habitat back to wildland."

Murray State's Cinema International presents A Life on Our Planet on Thursday, April 20, and Saturday, April 22, at 7:30 pm in Faculty Hall, room 208. The screenings and post-screening discussions are free and open to the public. These screenings are part of several Earth Day celebrations happening on and around MSU's campus, including a BioFest led by the university's biology department in and around the biology building on Friday from 10 to 2 and an International Kite Festival and Earth Day Festival at the MSU Arboretum on Saturday from 10 to 2.

For more information on the Cinema International program, including how to donate to support the upcoming Fall 2023 season, visit its website.

Austin Carter is a Murray State grad and has been involved with WKMS since he was in high school. Over the years he has been a producer for WKMS and has hosted several music shows, but now calls Morning Edition his home each weekday morning.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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