In 1948, Sir Fred Hoyle, a British astronomer and mathematician, wrote: “Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available . . . a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.”

The man knew his business. A series of pictures of Earth have become iconic, from 1968’s “Earthrise”, to 1972’s “the Blue Marble”, to 1990’s “the Pale Blue Dot”. They demonstrate, in the loudest possible silence, the fragility upon which we’ve built a self-involved civilization. This feeling, experienced by some astronauts, is called the overview effect.

This short film, Overview, explains the effect and the cognitive shift it entails. Though it’s a stand-alone film, the makers mean it to represent a prelude to a feature-length film, Continuum, coming later this year.

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