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Cinema as Eco-critical Criticism: Can Movies Represent the Conscience of the Anthropocene?

Doru POP


This paper critically questions the postulate that an ecological conscious cinema performs the task of raising global awareness and generates knowledge about the real problems of the Anthropocene. Interrogating the possibility that a cinematic “eco-mind” could be formed within eco-conscious movies, the author discusses the consequences of the interest displayed by many filmmakers towards the environment and the representation of the multitude of crises our planet faces today. By putting to the test the speculations and methods of eco-criticism, the author returns to the classical method used by Marx and Engels in “Die heilige Familie” and suggests that there is a third option, a path rarely taken, positioning interpretation between the optimistic eco-critical perspective and the hypocritical ecologist propaganda. Denouncing also the eco-Marxist revisions and proposing a reading of contemporary cinema based on the critique of the critical critique, this paper illustrates how this method of interpretation can be used in film studies and could produce an alternative practice in the ever-growing field of environmental humanities.

Keywords: cinema, eco-criticism, eco-Marxism, environmental humanities, critical thinking, dialectical methods

DOI: 10.24193/ekphrasis.24.12