I had to watch this video a few times before I really got it.
It’s a short film, created The Climate Coaltion, a UK organization that fights climate change, that features Charles Dance, Miranda Richardson, Jason Isaacs, and David Gyasi dramatically reciting a poem by Anthony Anaxagorou about the wonders of nature and the threat posed, not just to people but to the world itself, by a changing climate and a civilization that grows too fast and moves too far for nature to cope.
I was alerted to the film’s existence by an email from Elbow, as beneath the poem and the imagery is an underscore derived from the band’s new song, “Magnificent (She Says).” (I wrote about the song here.)
I had to tune out the imagery — and, to some extent, the music — and focus on the words. And I could see, especially once I’d read the poem itself, I could see what it was trying to say and how it was saying it.
Each voice is a different mood. Charles Dance, with a voice whose timber sounds doom, speaks to what has been lost to climate change — habitats destroyed, species barely holding on or past the edge of extinction. Miranda Richardson voices what will be if we continue on our current path, the wonders of the world that will be lost. Jason Isaacs is the voice of hope; our path isn’t fixed, and we still have a chance to change our course. And finally, David Gyasi is the voice of wonder — there is still magic and beauty in the world when we stop to recognize it, and we must save it so our children and grandchildren can share in it.
But there’s still time to rescue the tranquility
the fragile space between parks, pitches and sea —
the cosmos in all its wonderment and us,
a blink in its starry eye.
Once I put it all together, I found the film quite moving.
I was going to find it moving anyway — “Magnificent (She Says)” hits my emotional buttons, and the images of nature in all its wonder were quite beautiful — yet it’s better knowing what it all means.
This is the only world we have. We owe it to ourselves and the future to leave it better than we found it.