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Visions, Speculations and Dystopias: A Deep Dive Into 'Spaceship Earth'

Check out this fascinating documentary about a 90s biodome for free — then hear more from the filmmaker behind it.
By Sarah Ward
October 15, 2020
By Sarah Ward
October 15, 2020

When it premiered at Sundance in January this year, Spaceship Earth wouldn't and couldn't have seemed as topical as it does at present. The documentary's subject: Biosphere 2. If the name isn't familiar, it refers to a biodome in the Arizona desert that played host to eight inhabitants for two years in the early 90s — all isolating themselves from the world by choice, in the name of silence, to see if a closed-off, fully self-sustaining vivarium could work.

Yes, it sounds like pure sci-fi. We can guarantee that this is 100-percent reality, however. Exploring a tale that has to be seen to be believed, filmmaker Matt Wolf takes viewers through the unusual and fascinating experiment — wth the help of a treasure trove of archival material, as well as present-day interviews from many of the folks involved at the time.

While it would've been very easy to play up the outlandishness of the whole project (indeed, as seen in media clips from the era, many an onlooker did), this doco approaches Biosphere 2 and the passionate people who made it happen with thoughtfulness and appreciation, in what proves a supremely interesting and engaging film. And, if you'd like to check it out, you can do so for without paying a cent as part of the new Visions, Speculations and Dystopias: A Deep Dive Into Spaceship Earth event hosted by The Capitol in Melbourne.

There are multiple components, all free and all online — and streaming the movie is one of them. You'll need to RSVP to get sent the details, and then you can view it at your leisure in the lead up to three virtual events. The first, a watch party, takes place at 7.30pm AEDT on Wednesday, November 4. After that, you can catch a panel about whether humanity should leave earth, as held at 5.30pm AEDT on Thursday, November 5, and then check out a masterclass with Spaceship Earth's director Matt Wolf at 10am AEDT on Friday, November 6.


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