Louie Psihoyos, director of The Cove – the Oscar-winning documentary about the slaughter of dolphins in Japan – is revealing his new movie to audiences at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, according to Deadline. The former National Geographic photographer’s new film, Racing Extinction, focuses not only on the demise of a single species, but the current trajectory of humanity’s impact on all of Earth’s ecosystems, as well as our own imminent extinction.
After the success of The Cove, Psihoyos continued his observation of nature with his involvement in Minds In the Water (2011) and the Oscar-nominated, Chasing Ice (2012), which explored the preservation of marine wildlife and the deterioration of the planet’s glaciers, respectively.
Racing Extinction, therefore, seems a fitting project for Psihoyos. Funded by the Oceanic Preservation Society, the organization that also produced The Cove, the new movie claims the 6th major extinction in Earth’s history will occur in the era Anthropocene, or “Age of Man”, and this catastrophe has undeniable links to humankind. Using guerrilla-like tactics not seen in Psihoyo’s previous work, the film’s environmental activists attempt to infiltrate and expose international business that directly harms endangered wildlife.
“We’ve become this human asteroid,” Psihoyos states in an interview with The Humane Society. “My goal is not just to create awareness that this is going on, but to actually try to move the needle in causing significant change.”
His films have not been met with complete acceptance, however. Japanese officials reportedly have defended dolphin hunting in Taiji Cove, upholding the local custom and emphasizing the legal right of the fishermen to continue their trade. The prefecture government of the region states that The Cove “depicted [the dolphins’] death[s] in a manner designed to excite outrage.”
As seen in the trailer, Racing Extinction is trying to act as a progressive and effective mode of awareness as well as an exposé, featuring artists from around the world to create a striking and interactive advertisement, essentially, for wildlife. Whether their effort is received with applause, or condemned as sensationalist activist fodder, will soon be determined.
Psihoyos’s stance on the issue is unyielding:
The working title of it [was] called The Singing Planet. And that’s because everything from the insects to blue whales has been singing; we just haven’t been listening.
The film is set to debut on January 24th, 2015.