15 June, 2021

Behind A Ravaged Tara

Vaughan eviscerates the film industry for selfishly promoting profitable art while keeping mum about its irreparable environmental depredations for a century

Behind A Ravaged Tara

We all love watching movies, little realising that we are complicit in the destruction film-­mak­ing unleashes. The images we enjoy do not come from nothing; there are significant material con­­­­s­­equences to it. James Cameron’s Titanic had decimated a Mexican sea urchin population and Danny Boyle’s The Beach had wrecked natural dunes in a Thai island. Not all are as destructive, but film-making is not without its ecological carcasses floating in the air, circulating in the water, sinking into the soil, and rustling in the leaves. And it isn’t a recent phenomenon—the dirtiest secr­ets of film were rarely allowed to surface as we had tacitly sacrifi­ced the real for the spectacle.

Daily consumption of 200 million litres of water by (then) Eastman Kodak to produce 80 per cent of the world’s film supply had the audiences’ unwritten san­­ction. The eco-destruction doesn’t end at that; the methodological complexities of film watc­hing and its disposal is beset with hidden...

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