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The Magnitude of All Things
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The Magnitude of All Things
IDFA 2020

The Magnitude of All Things

Jennifer Abbott
Canada
2020
85 min
International Premiere
Festival history

Director Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation) remembers how it began during a forest walk. It was summertime, but it looked like snow was falling. The “snowflakes” were actually ash particles from a distant forest fire fueled by climate change. The emotion she felt was similar to what she felt after her sister died of cancer in 2008. In this deeply personal film Abbott draws parallels between grief for the loss of a loved one, and grief for what humanity is losing due to the climate crisis.

Everywhere she visits on her filmic journey, Abbott discovers that people are feeling the same overwhelming sorrow, be they Inuits contending with the consequences of melting ice, Australians whose residential areas and surrounding flora and fauna have been consumed by the fires, or members of Amazon communities opposing the mining industry and the devastation it causes. But this sorrow can also turn into rage, action, hope. 

The raw emotions and dramatic music make for a moving film experience, with solace provided by a reenacted storyline in which Abbott’s sister comes to terms with her inevitable death, thanks in part to the natural world.

Credits
Director
Production
    Jennifer Abbott,
    Andrew Williamson for Cedar Island Films,
    Henrike Meyer for Cedar Island Films,
    Shirley Vercruysse for National Film Board of Canada
    Jennifer Abbott,
    Andrew Williamson for Cedar Island Films,
    Henrike Meyer for Cedar Island Films,
    Shirley Vercruysse for National Film Board of Canada
Cinematography
    Vince Arvidson
    Vince Arvidson
Screening copy
    National Film Board of Canada
    National Film Board of Canada
World Sales
    National Film Board of Canada
    National Film Board of Canada

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