The Overview Effect
We often get so caught up in our world, that we forget that there is something bigger going on. We get caught up in small social circles and the usual issues that people make up mostly out of nowhere. I’ve often just lay down at night and looked up at the stars and wondered what’s out there and what our whole purpose in the universe is. Are we the only ones? Is there another planet where other people are looking back at us from? Will we ever know the answers? When you realise how vast the universe is, you realise how insignificant we really are in it. This makes our issues seem so incredibly trivial. Worrying that the shop is out of a certain food you like, being upset because the store didn’t have your shoe size, being angry because they don’t have that spare part for your car. It all means nothing when you really think about it. These things are often only brought into perspective when you look out into the sky, when you see the stars and moon and wonder about it all. Now take this, and think about it from another perspective. Look down at the earth from space…
On the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph taken of Earth from space, Planetary Collective presents a short film documenting astronauts’ life-changing stories of seeing the Earth from the outside – a perspective-altering experience often described as the Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
‘Overview’ is a short film that explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect. The film also features insights from commentators and thinkers on the wider implications and importance of this understanding for society, and our relationship to the environment.