Eco Apocalypse Now

The destruction of Earth is a common theme of sci-fi films. Alien invasions, humans-turnedzombies, pandemics, nuclear war, comet collisions, and extreme weather are some of the reasons that make Earth uninhabitable and a dramatic story unfolds in the process of characters struggling to overcome such conditions.

The story of Earth getting destroyed that can evoke fear and thrills which takes place in an unfamiliar landscape and can utilize the aesthetics of scale is a genre frequently used in Hollywood. These films reveal the times through what is threatening Earth. Alien invasions that were metaphors for the horrific memories of war and the enemy or stories of the end of Earth as we know it reflecting the fear of a nuclear war during the height of the Cold War were popular. When there was economic or social unrest, diseases broke out or zombies were rampant. And at the core of such sci-fi dramas lay concerns for our planet Earth which were closely linked to our very survival and the environment.

‘Eco Apocalypse Now’ section is composed of major films that could be grouped as the newly emerged subgenre of ‘cli-fi’ within the apocalyptic, dystopian sci-fi genre. The Day the Earth Caught Fire, where Earth falls out of orbit and bursts into flames as it gets closer to the sun, Mad Max: Fury Road, which shows the madness that ensues after the entire world has become one gigantic desert, Snowpiercer, with its hypothesis of an extreme climate freezing the entire planet, all portray the signs of climate change in a sci-fi spectacle. WALL-E looks through the eyes of a robot at humanity that has turned Earth into a planet of trash and deserted it while Soylent Green depicts a dismal world suffering from a shortage of food caused by pollution and the collapse of the ecosystem as a police investigation.

USA, 2008, 99min
USA, 1973, 97min
Bong Joon-ho
Korea, 2013, 126min
USA, Australia, 2015, 120min
France, 1962, 28min
UK, 1961, 100min