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View other events for the week of 1/29/2010
Corte Madera>Chera Van Burg's"Call of Life"Doc. what she's calling the 6th mass extinction
Date Friday January 29
Time 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Location Details

What: Screening of "Call of Life" and Q&A with filmmakers Chera Van Burg, Monte Thompson and Species Alliance co-founder David Ulansey

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Jan. 29

Where: Sunrise Center, 645 Tamalpais Drive, Suite A, Corte Madera

Admission: Free; silent auction fundraiser for the film's post-production

Information: 924-7824,
Event Type Screening
Documentary an urgent 'Call for Life'
Paul Liberatore

Marin psychologist Chera Van Burg was so freaked out by what is being called "the mass extinction" that she produced "Call of Life," the first feature film about a looming threat that most people don't see coming.

Van Burg, a resident of San Anselmo, calls this no less than "the biggest issue that humanity faces, an event that is more threatening than anything we have ever faced before because it is destroying the biological systems needed for our very existence."

A founder of the nonprofit organization Species Alliance, she decided to make a documentary about the mass extinction because "so few people are aware of it," she said. "If people become aware of this we can avert it."

"Call of Life" has been shown as an official selection of the recent Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, called the Sundance of environmental film festivals.

It won the John Muir Gold Award at the Yosemite Film Festival and has been screened at the Sonoma Environmental Film Festival and the Blue Planet Film Festival.

It will have its Marin County premiere in its final version on Jan. 29 at the Sunrise Center in Corte Madera.

According to Van Burg and the scientists, social scientists, historians, environmentalists, activists, and visionary thinkers interviewed in the film, we are in what they call "the sixth mass extinction," a destruction of biodiversity brought on by global warming, pollution and other factors caused entirely by human activities.

"The last one was 65
million years ago when an asteroid is believed to have hit the planet and caused the dinosaurs to become extinct," she said. "The difference is this one is entirely human caused."

As a psychologist, Van Burg also thought it was important that the documentary look at what she calls the "hidden drivers" of mass extinction, "the psychological patterns in our culture" that have contributed to this potential catastrophe.

"What we have to change is our own hearts and minds to stop this," she said, noting that the United Nations has declared this "the year of biodiversity."

"The timing is becoming ripe for this to change," she said.

Narrated by Marin's Peter Coyote, "Call of Life" includes interviews with such luminaries as Paul R. Ehrlich, president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University; paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey, a world authority on wildlife, conservation and the sixth mass extinction; eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, environmentalist Norman Myers, an authority on biodiversity, and Mary Evelyn Tucker, a member of the United Nations Interfaith Partnership for the Environment., a popular Web site dedicated to green news, sustainability issues and product information, praises the documentary's "stellar list of scientists," and compares it to Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth."

"It's quite well done," it says. "TreeHugger looks forward to its full release.", another green news site, calls it "an eco flick to see ASAP!," saying it "looks beyond technological solutions and into humanity's thoughts and behaviors that are inextricably linked to the factors driving mass extinction."

Contact Paul Liberatore via e-mail at liberatore [at]; follow him on Twitter at

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Added to the calendar on Thursday Jan 28th, 2010 10:34 PM
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