A Love Story Set Within an Environmental Nightmare

Posted on April 7, 2011

Filmmaker Bennett Cohen sets his FUTURESTATES short The Dig on the verge of an environmental collapse. The film is streaming free today on FUTURESTATES.tv.


As the world faces an environmental apocalypse, a group of archaeologists venture into a toxic desert wasteland, determined to unearth a lost civilization. Can this ancient disaster help them avert their own ruin? Watch The Dig today, and find other shorts from the second season of the online original series FUTURESTATES.


Plus, read this filmmaker tidbit below from director Bennett Cohen and find out what inspired him to set a modern day love story inside a futuristic, environmental meltdown.

In his Four Quartets,  T.S. Eliot wrote: We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” For me, Eliot’s words are especially appropriate when it comes to science fiction, or any sort of futuristic, speculative fiction. We use our imaginations not merely to predict the future, but to shed light on the present, and on ourselves, and gain a new and deeper understanding.

That’s where The Dig began for me – using the future as a window onto the present, exploring themes and emotions that affect us now as much as they might in the future.  Added to that was my long time interest in archaeology, and equally long time desire to write about it dramatically.  So, The Dig actually began with the intention of using both the future and the past – and using both to gain a bit more understanding of what we face today.

The issues I grappled with are not unfamiliar ones: environmental breakdowns, global warming, the specter of mass extinctions – including our own – and a looming dystopia that could affect all of us – and may do so sooner than we think.  There was something else I knew I wanted to be at the center of The Dig: a love story.  Dealing with issues like global warming and extinction in the abstract tends to relegate it to an intellectual debate with little in the way of real emotional stakes.  But personalizing it, and showing the human loss that could result from it, gives it an emotional impact that it can’t have any other way.  And that emotional impact was also something that I knew I wanted.

Find out more about the film and filmmaker on FUTURESTATES.tv.


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