Behold the Earth

Behold the Earth is a music-rich documentary film that explores America’s divorce from the outdoors through conversations with legendary scientists E.O. Wilson, Cal DeWitt, and Theo Colborn, as well as a new generation of creation-care activists within America’s Christian communities. Katharine Hayhoe, Ben Lowe, and Corina Newsome are close observers of nature bearing witness to creation, asking tough questions about church engagement with environmental issues. Read More

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Cast & Crew

Director: David Conover
Actors: Cal DeWitt, Katharine Hayhoe, Ben Lowe


Run Time: 1 hr 3 min
Studio: Compass Light Productions
Genre: Documentary
Released: 2017


About The Film

Many of us Americans share a vision of the rural past, which goes something like the fable at the beginning of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring.

Once upon a time, we lived in close proximity to the outdoors, to what biologist E.O. Wilson and many others refer to as nature or –alternatively- the Creation. Food was grown in nearby fields, hunted in nearby woods, or fished from nearby waters. Children played outdoors. A rich bounty of birds, mammals, plants, fish, and insects invited curious minds to observe, organize, and understand what life is. The open land and waterscapes inspired dreams of what all our own lives -and those of all our descendents- could be.

Today, many Americans share unease about our relationship to Creation. Our children, known as “digital natives” – and we – seem to spend less time outside and more time with indoor virtual amusements. We look about and within our own day-to-day activities and feel distress about the food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the accelerating pace required just to get by. We’re disturbed by the degraded bounty of life on earth, a result of imbalances that we’ve introduced. Some of our communities have been disproportionately degraded to the point of alarming insecurity and intolerable injustice.

BEHOLD THE EARTH provides an original opportunity to re-examine and expand the community of U.S. environmentalists, charting steps into the future that builds on Rachel Carson’s discussion of destructive trace toxicity in the 20th century, with the addition of a destructive climate in the 21st century. Carson inspired a wide range of rising young scientists of that time, people like E.O. Wilson and Cal DeWitt and Theo Colborn, to better understand how the natural world works, so as to better track human impacts within it.

Many of these scientists were also raised as Christians. Concurrent to their scientific work, they examined life on earth in terms of the living Creation and biblical scripture. Cal DeWitt helped launch a movement called “Creation Care,” a moral imperative that builds on theology deeply seated within the last 2,000 years of Judeo-Christian tradition.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a new generation of scientists and Christians is coming-of-age, people like Katherine Hayhoe and Ben Lowe and Corina Newsome. They are standing on the shoulders of Cal DeWitt and others inspired by Rachel Carson. Can these emerging leaders and the next wave of Creation Care conservationists reduce the human degradations of the living planet, wrought by trace toxins and a destructively warming climate? Along the way, can they revive the reach and relevance of both environmentalism and Christianity in America?

Film Director and Conservationist David Conover boldly began this highly original film 12 years ago, as an inquiry into America’s divorce from the outdoors, before-and-after the arrival of those known as the digital natives. He is neither scientist nor Christian. He draws upon some of the same talented field staff behind the spectacular natural sequences in his series Sunrise Earth and Big Picture Earth. Four time Grammy-award winning musician Dirk Powell leads the arrangements of traditional American tunes and hymns, with Rhiannon Giddens and Tim Eriksen.

There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings.
— Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Chapter 1: A Fable for Tomorrow

Film Festivals: Nice International Film Festival 2017

Awards: Nice International Film Festival 2017 - nominated Best Director, Best Documentary, Best Score

Quotes: "The sheer humanity shines through. Viewing should be compulsory." —Daily Mail "It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will remind you of what it really means to be strong." —Guardian. "Exceptionally moving" —Sight & Sound

Pre-order: Purchases available June 2018

Grade Levels: Higher Education