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‘Earthrise:’ Gaining Perspective on the Planet

The short film traces the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space.

Directed by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee, the short film “Earthrise” traces the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968. Told solely by the Apollo 8 astronauts—Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and Bill Anders—the film recounts their experiences and memories and explores the beauty and awe of the Earth against the blackness of space. 

This iconic image had a powerful impact on the astronauts and the world, offering a perspective that transcended national, political and religious boundaries. Told 50 years later, “Earthrise” compels viewers to remember this shift and to reflect on the Earth as a shared home.

“I’ve always loved the Earth photography captured during the Apollo missions, and for as long as I can remember have found the Earthrise image to be particularly poignant,” Vaughn-Lee tells Arthur Glover. “The image marked a turning point in our collective consciousness, and among other things helped kickstart the environmental movement and inspire Earth Day. 

“I was interested in going back to that moment and telling the story behind the photograph, to talk to the first human beings to see and experience Earth from space. What was it like for them to see and experience the Earth from the moon and how did it impact them and their lives? And all these years later in these troubled and divisive times what role can this image play as a reminder of what unites and connects us? It was these questions questions that inspired me to make the film.” To read the full interview, click here.

In December, the film will be released on the Global Oneness Project‘s  free online educational platform and will be accompanied by a curriculum guide for use in educational settings that challenge students’ universal perspectives of our shared home. The Global Oneness Project is an educational initiative of Kalliopeia Foundation.

Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee is an award-winning filmmaker and composer. His work has been featured on National Geographic and PBS and in the New York Times and the New Yorker, exhibited at the Smithsonian, and screened at festivals and theaters worldwide.