Photo and Story by Connor Burnard / Contributing Writer
MTSU’s Students for Environmental Action held a screening of an environmental documentary titled “Home” on Wednesday night in the Business and Aerospace Building as part of MTSU’s Earth Week celebration.
The documentary, released in 2009 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, a French photojournalist and environmentalist, is a non-copyrighted visual spectacle narrated by award-winning actress Glenn Close that addresses the impact that humans have had on Earth in a relatively short time period and details the reasons why the damage caused by humans needs to be rectified quickly. The film consists almost entirely of cinematic aerial views of cities and wilderness captured from a helicopter. “Home” directly challenges viewers to do their part to help Earth’s ecosystems.
“Listen carefully to this extraordinary story, which is yours, and decide what you want to do with it,” Close narrates in the film’s introduction.
“Home” takes the viewer through Earth’s history before humanity, analyzing the creation of the planet and its ecosystems before describing the introduction of mankind on Earth and the massive changes humans have made to the planet in the relatively short span of 200,000 years. Pollution, emissions, strip mining, litter, pesticides and dependence on fossil fuels are just a few topics covered in “Home” that the film says are ways that humans damage the Earth and its ecosystems. Therefore, these actions must be ceased by humans, according to the film.
The film’s moral of accountability and proactive behavior regarding environmental sustainability fits with the philosophy of Students for Environmental Action.
Brian Sharber, an MTSU sophomore studying computer science and a member of SEA, said that the straightforward and candid nature of the film is important.
“I think it showed a bunch of realistic stuff. So, it opens a lot of ignorant people’s eyes to what’s going on in the Earth,” Sharber said.
Derrick Collins, a senior studying philosophy and the secretary of SEA, said that the showing of the film as part of Earth Week is meant to encourage student involvement in environmental issues.
“It raises awareness for Earth Week… We facilitate something like this to get some sort of concrete idea of activism,” Collins said.
He also encouraged students to do their part to help the environment.
“Save up any plastic or any sort of recyclable materials… Just keep it somewhere else other than the trash. It would help with resource consumption, since that’s a concern. Rally for more alternative fuels since we have such a dependence on oil, which is not a good thing in the long run,” Collins said.
Also attending the screening was Burk Halter, a Murfreesboro resident and member of the Rutherford County chapter of Statewide Organizing for Community Empowerment. Halter said that the film was a call to action for everyone.
“This beautiful film just brings home the fact that if we care about preserving our way of life, the ability of this planet and environment to sustain us, we need to do something,” Halter said.
Students for Environmental Action meet in the Business and Aerospace Building every Monday at 7:30 p.m. in room S213. The Rutherford County chapter of SOCM meets every third Tuesday of the month at 311 South Maney Ave. They will be holding a lecture on contemporary issues in environmentalism in room S328 in the Business and Aerospace Building with political group Rutherford Indivisible on Saturday, April 22.
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