After viewing the Discovery Channel Documentary, Racing Extinction, I feel motivated to get out in society and make change. The filmed targeted the current mass extinction event that is happening, the Anthropocene. It focused on telling stories of environmental activists who are helping draw attention to dying species, close to extinction. It is scary to see species disappearing from the earth almost every day; we barely acknowledge it. There are still places on earth that are untouched by humans, so there may be species going extinct that we don’t even know exist. Based on the information given in the film, we as humans are new to the planet compared to other species. We need to respect, understand, and help to protect the beauty of our world if we want to continue to live in it.
This film was remarkably put together, but difficult to watch. There were times while watching when I felt sickened by the lack of understanding we as humans have regarding our actions. There is a general belief that regardless of how many species we harm, or take lives from, that they will always replenish, and never disappear. This is the danger that has driven us into another mass extinction event. The only way we can stop seeing these horrifying images, is if we take action to stop it.
This film made me aware of my level of empathy for living creatures that are not human. Empathy is a characteristic that we may not understand that we have until we view something like this. This is the reason as to why films, demonstrations, and publications similar to those featured in Racing Extinction are important. I believe that they do have a difference. There was a montage, towards the end of the film, of multiple projects which projected concepts of species protection to large audiences. Their reactions to the video footage, statistics, and graphic images, are proof that activists like those shown, should continue their work, and reach out further. People live on ideas of not believing concepts until they can really see them. Also, the stubbornness of society is hard to break. But giving people raw, unfiltered, proof is incomparable.
My favorite concept presented in the film was a statement that was said towards the beginning of the movie. The director of the film, Louie Psihoyos, stated that “[our current world] is like living in the age of the dinosaurs’ [before extinction], but we can do something about it”. Although species extinction is a defeating topic, and can leave it’s viewers upset, we are living in a time where we must be active. We must take the ideas from films like racing extinction, and positively contribute in our daily lives.
Isabella Colello, Spring 2019