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The Root Cause

Human activity on the planet is a geological force, changing the climate and the oceans, reshaping the landscape, causing pollution, and driving extinctions of other species. As a result, human civilization as we know it is facing its own demise. Can humans change the way we interact with the environment and change our future to avert disaster, or are we bound by our innate nature to continue as a destructive geological force?

  • Julia Buss
  • Julia Buss
  • David Millett Publications
  • David Millett
  • Sarah Jacob
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    May 30, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Vimeo
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Video on Demand
  • Amazon
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Video on Demand, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Julia Buss

Director and co-writer: Julia Buss, PhD
Dr. Buss is an expert in Occupational and Environmental Health. Her background in public health has led Dr. Buss to recognize the extent to which humans are dependent upon their environments for health and well-being. Dr. Buss is Director and co-writer of “The Root Cause.” Her previous experience as Director and co-writer was on a short documentary film about loss of wild habitat to build a zoo, titled “Knowland.”

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Director Statement

This environmental documentary film describes the geological epoch called the Anthropocene and our human response to this threat. The imagery in the film juxtaposes the serious and menacing reality of the Anthropocene with the beautiful reality of nature. The film does not show smoke stacks, or industrial images, or cityscapes. The interviewees were filmed in front of green screen so that scenes of natural beauty can be inserted behind them. It appears to the audience that each person has been interviewed in a natural beauty spot.
The film examines what may be the root cause of the planetary scale changes, including climate change, that are caused by human activity and asks whether we can actually save ourselves from ourselves when faced with this global scale environmental threat.