Directed by: Matt Wolf
USA, 2020, 113m
Deep in the Arizona desert, there exists an enormous glass terrarium containing a miniature replica of earth’s ecosystem, called Biosphere 2. Its conception began at a countercultural commune, where an innovative group of artists, adventurers, and ecologists, forged an alliance with a Texas oil scion to create Biosphere 2 as a pilot for Mars colonization. In 1991 their spectacular project became a media sensation, when eight “biospherians” went to live hermetically sealed under the glass dome for two years. However, shortly after their mission began, the biospherians contended with ecological calamities—from food shortages to oxygen deprivation—and quickly the media’s fanfare turned to scorn. Cult accusations surfaced about the project’s management, and Biosphere 2 was labeled science fiction, instead of credible science. Director Matt Wolf (“Bayard & Me,” FFF 2017) trains his lens on this science-experiment-run-amok, showcasing the team whose summer-of-love-spawned best intentions culminated in one of the most interesting disasters of the early 1990s.