ECOLOGY: Watch it and weep: Jennifer Abbott's remarkable, poetic, and lyrical film about the profound urgency, grief, and gravity of climate change is deeply moving.
Nick Holdsworth
Nick Holdsworth
Our regular critic.
Published date: November 14, 2020

There is something profoundly affecting about a director whose film about the terrifying threat of climate change starts from the grief she is experiencing at the loss of her sister to cancer.

Jennifer Abbott’s The Magnitude of All Things skillfully links her personal, private grief with a growing awareness of the grief climate change is bringing at a global scale. The threat of climate change has been headline news for decades, but for some communities, it is already a reality – such as Canada’s southernmost Inuit community, where ice melting is rapidly changing landscapes and ways of life known for millennia, or the people of the Pacific’s Kiribati, which may disappear beneath the waves within decades.

Depths of understanding

For such a disturbing topic, Abbott brings sensitivity to the stories of people losing everything that provides for both hauntingly beautiful images and a depth of understanding in how deeply humans are connected to this planet that we are so carelessly destroying.

Beginning with lyrical images of her childhood in Canada, exploring rivers and lakes and coastlines with her sister, Abbott takes us on a rapid tour of the world’s ecological crisis points, moving …


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