We’re right in the middle of National Science Week. It’s a week that celebrates science and technology, and the contributions of many to these fields. So why not spark your curiosity and get inspired by one of our stunning science films: Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars, In the Shadow of the Moon, Particle Fever, Who’s Afraid of Wilhelm Reich, Pandora’s Promise, This Changes Everything.
Eugene Cernan on the Moon (Apollo 17,1972). Image: http://www.historyrundown.com/
National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science and technology. It’s a chance to get involved in science, and provides a great opportunity to get to know the contributions of scientists’ to the every-growing world of knowledge. Whether your interest is in space, the environment, or something much closer to home, we’ve got you covered with films that will leave you even more fascinated by the world we live in.
Growing up, many children want to become astronauts. So does Sepideh, in Sepideh: Reaching for the Stars. She spends her nights exploring the secrets of the universe, while her family will do anything to keep her on the ground. The expectations for a young Iranian woman are very different from Sepideh’s ambitions, and her plans to go to university are in danger. But Sepideh holds on to her dreams, teaming up with the world’s first female space tourist, Anousheh Ansari, to fight to make them come true. If space is your thing, then In the Shadow of the Moon will leave you more inspired than ever. In it, director Mark Levinson brings together for the first, and very possibly the last, time surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission which flew to the Moon, and allows them to tell their story in their own words.
Imagine being able to watch as Edison turned on the first light bulb, or as Franklin received his first jolt of electricity? Particle Fever gives us a front row seat to our generation’s most significant scientific breakthrough as it happens: the very first round of experiments with the Hadron Collider. 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries join forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs Boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter.
However, scientific pursuits have a long history of being the subject of scrutiny as well as persecution. In Who’s Afraid of Wilhelm Reich, we see the story of a visionary whose scientific efforts were quashed and censored by the FBI. Reich’s life was marked by persecution – he was arrested and died in prison on account of his findings – but his contribution to science lives on, as what he discovered about “Orgasm as Life Energy” has now been found to be true.
The topic on almost everyone’s lips at the moment is climate change. It’s an intensely polarising and emotional issue, and the evidence offered up by the scientific community is staggering. We know it exists. So what do we do about it? Pandora’s Promise asks whether the one technology we fear most – nuclear energy – could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. In his controversial new film, Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process. Director Avi Lewis takes another approach to the issue in This Changes Everything. Throughout the film, Lewis builds to her most controversial and exciting idea based on economics and a social narrative: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
These stories told through the medium of film offer a powerful and profound reminder of the extraordinary accomplishments of which humankind is capable, as well as celebrating the wonders of the world around us. So go get inspired this National Science Week!