Film Series: Projections of International Nature

As part of the Vidi project ‘Nature’s Diplomats’ a series of influential (and controversial) environmental documentaries will be screened at the Natural History Museum of Maastricht. Upcoming: 29 Sept. 2013: Survival of Spaceship Earth (1972). Introduction by Hans Schouwenburg. 13 Oct. 2013: The Silence of the Pandas: What the WWF isn’t Saying (2011).
Introduction by Simone Schleper. Place: De Bosquetplein 6. Time: 13.30

Documentaries have often been used to convince large audiences that nature, even the earth as a whole, is in need of protection. The ideals that have been propagated in those documentaries have evolved through time. This evolution will become clear during three afternoon screenings, in which we will show documentaries from different time periods. The films we will show are very different, but all of them were highly influential and controversial in the time period they were issued. Before the screening, each film will be introduced and put in their historical context.

22 Sept. 2013: Masters of the Congo Jungle (1959), 87 minutes (English)

This film, issued under the impulse of the Belgian ex-King Leopold III, was to bring the European population into contact with the Congolese ‘wilderness’. What is particularly striking today is how the film approaches the Congolese population. The producers believed they were paying tribute to ‘the masters of the jungle’, but they particularly did so by presenting them as part of nature and stressing their wildness.

The film will be introduced by Raf De Bont, in Dutch.

29 Sept. 2013: Survival of Spaceship Earth (1992 [1972]), 67 minutes (English).

This film has been issued for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, 1972. It sketches (with a great sense of drama) the threats of overpopulation, pollution and the decline of natural resources. This film, in short, voices the fears of its time.

Hans Schouwenburg will introduce the film, in Dutch, and put it in its historical context.

13 Oct. 2013: The silence of the Pandas: What the WWF isn’t Saying (2011), 50 minutes (German, English subtitles).

In this documentary Wilfried Huisman questions the flawless image of the World Wildlife Fund.

Even before Huisman’s film was broadcasted by the German public television station ARD, the WWF had filed several complaints. After the documentary was aired, an emotional public discussion took place.

The film will be introduced, in English, by Simone Schleper.

The film screenings will take place in the Natural History Museum of Maastricht, De Bosquetplein 6.

The introductions will start at 13.30. People who are interested should sign up at the front desk. Entrance to the Museum includes the film.
More information here

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