“Call of Life is the best conservation film I’ve seen and the best film on the great crisis of life. Thank you for making this film.”
— Dave Foreman, Conservationist & Author
Director, Rewilding Institute
"Species around the world are disappearing faster than ever before due to our addiction to fossil fuel and other human activities. Call of Life helps us understand this horrible consequence of our actions or lack thereof—a painful but necessary understanding. Everyone needs to see this film."
— Terry Root, Ph.D., Biologist
Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Department of Biology, Stanford University
Telluride Inside and Out, June 06, 2010
Mountainfilm in Telluride, 2010: Art's View
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION …That was the theme of this year’s Friday Symposium, and the festival’s best film about the biological crisis was hands-down Monte Thompson and Chera Van Burg’s Call of Life—a well-reasoned balance of distinguished interviews with leading scientists, cut with powerful images and graphics and interspersed with the iconic movements of a sensitive troupe of dancers. If you aren’t convinced that we are in the middle of an explosion of species (and even genus) deaths far and away over the normal rate of extinction, then you clearly haven’t examined the facts.
If ever a movie should move you, this film should: The web of life is ripping, and we are witnesses to the largest change to earth’s biological world since a giant asteroid smashed into the Gulf of Mexico and eliminated the dinosaurs. It’s a silent crisis. One happening at accelerating speed as human population pressures gobble up habitat, introduce weed invaders, snuff out the life of creatures interwoven into the pathways of local ecological niches in ways we don’t even begin to understand. This is the film millions should be flocking to, but in a culture out of balance, entertainment distractions Shrek 3 and Sex in the City 2 are the first of mainstream culture’s summer blockbusters. How utterly backwards. Buy this movie and show it to everyone you know.
Educational Media Reviews Online, Dec. 8, 2010
A beautiful and informative film that is also a call to action. Call of Life features in-depth analysis with thought-provoking interviews of articulate scientists, environmentalists, and visionaries. With alarming data about the Earth's rapidly dwindling plant and animal populations-and the skyrocketing rate of extinction—this film tells us that we as humans have to change the way we are living. We have a choice: continue to exploit and take our life-sustaining environment for granted until it collapses, or start taking the necessary measures to reverse the negative impact that humanity inflicts upon the environment. It is a powerful and compelling message, describing a far-reaching crisis in nature and also in human nature. As an expert notes in the film, humanity has never been faced with a challenge on such a global scale. Call of Life is highly recommended for essentially all audiences, and would be a welcome addition to collections in most high school libraries, public libraries, and undergraduate academic libraries."
Scoop Independent News, New Zealand, Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Palmerston North’s Reel Earth Best Picks Announced
A fascinating and informative film, Call of Life provides an unusually rigorous, in-depth analysis of the importance of biological diversity and the devastating consequences of the current, out-of-control extinction rate. Fronted by some of the best-respected, articulate bridge names in ecology and environmental science (eg Vitousek, Pimm, Leakey, Ehrlich, Myers), it should be required viewing for anyone with a vested interest in maintaining the diversity of life on Earth - That and, as the film explains so convincingly, MEANS ALL of us. Discussions about topics like the psychology of denial, climate change, the importance of conserving populations not just species, and how the historical changes in religious and spiritual attitudes has influenced reverence for the environment, are interspersed with powerful, brilliantly explained examples - the way the blood of lizards on the West Coast of the U.S. protects humans from Lyme disease was a particular gem, leading one to wonder what kinds of protection we might lose before we even know we're benefiting. Serious, rich and challenging, Call of Life rises far beyond the superficial environmental jeremiads of many documentaries and explores its subject in commendable depth.
• John Muir Gold Award (2009), Film in progress, Yosemite Film Fest., Yosemite, CA
• Award of Excellence in Film (2010), Accolade Competition, Los Angeles, CA
• Finalist Award – Film (2010), International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula, MT
• Accolade 2010 Humanitarian Award, Accolade Competition, Los Angeles, CA
• EarthVision Jury Competition Nominee, Santa Cruz Film Festival, Santa Cruz, CA
• Finalist – Best Feature (2010), Reel Earth Film Festival, Palmerston North, NZ
• Best Science Communication Film (2010), Reel Earth Film Festival, New Zealand