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Review: Dust, the Movie

German movie + subtitles + art museum venue = ack. I should have known what I was getting myself into when I attended this selection from the Environmental Film Festival.Dust as a topic can be interesting (I’ve been fascinated with it since I first read about the theory that Britain’s outbreak of f...

Dust blows over the Mediterranean from Africa




German movie + subtitles + art museum venue = ack. I should have known what I was getting myself into when I attended this selection from the Environmental Film Festival.



Dust as a topic can be interesting (I’ve been fascinated with it since I first read about the theory that Britain’s outbreak of foot and mouth disease could have originated with dust blown from the Sahara), but this movie is really just a topic; it’s not a story. There isn’t much that connects the segments except for the title.



There are some good ideas, but at 90 minutes, the film was twice as long as it should have been. The filmmaker could have focused on his point of how humans are the source of dust, but we continue in a never-ending battle to get rid of it. (There was a very funny segment in which the photographer baits a woman on this point as she cleans her apartment. She’s so cleaning-obsessed that she says she will even regularly take apart her TV to get rid of the dust inside.) There are also bits about the science of dust, such as how dust is involved in the formation of planets, but they get lost in this movie.



Several people got up and left the theater after about an hour. I would have gone with them, except that I didn’t want to go back into the rain so quickly.



(Image courtesy of NASA, created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team)
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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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