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Spaceship Earth

1h 55m Documentary 2020

A look at the group of people who built the Biosphere 2 in 1991, w/ an exclusive Q&A!

Deep in the Arizona desert, there’s an enormous glass terrarium where a miniature replica of Earth’s ecosystem lives called Biosphere 2. Its conception began at a countercultural commune, where an innovative group of artists, adventurers, and ecologists, forged an alliance with a Texas oil scion to create Biosphere 2 as a pilot for Mars colonization. They also hoped that their project would be a model for sustainable living on Earth — also known as Biosphere 1.

In 1991 their spectacular project became a media sensation, when eight “biospherians” went to live hermetically sealed under the glass dome for two years. However, shortly after their mission began, the biospherians contended with ecological calamities — from food shortages to oxygen deprivation — and quickly the media’s fanfare turned to scorn. Cult accusations surfaced about the project’s management, and Biosphere 2 was labeled science fiction, instead of credible science.

Despite these tribulations, the biospherians completed their mission, coalescing to cooperatively manage their impact on a model environment. That is until their miniature world was taken over. This is an epic story, spanning half a century, about the forces that threaten our planet, but also the power of small groups to literally reimagine the world.

_“Made up of archival footage, present-day interviews, and news clips, it’s a strange, fascinating, and eerie film to watch while we’re all in quarantine, and while climate change ravages the earth.” _— Hannah Lynn, Pittsburgh City Paper


Matt Wolf

Closed Captions [CC]

English captions

Bonus Content

Q&A with director Matt Wolf and Special Guests


Alamo founder Tim League discusses Spaceship Earth with director Matt Wolf and two of Spaceship Earth’s subjects (Mark Nelson and Linda Leigh).

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