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Once You Know

Starting at $89

A Film by Emmanuel Cappellin in collaboration with Anne-Marie Sangla

105 minutes

Scene Selection • Closed Captioned

Grades 8 - Adult
Item #:OYK-1198

Select DVD License (limited PPR included)

Licenses for "Once You Know" limited to the US
K-12 Classrooms, Public Libraries: DVD - $89
K-12 DVD + Digital File - $139
Community Screening, Businesses: $295
Colleges, Institutions: DVD - $345
Colleges: DVD with Digital Site License - $445
K-12 School District pricing available. Please inquire at [email protected]
Today, like a ship entering the storm, industrial civilization faces the first symptoms of energy depletion and climate change induced collapse as scientists assert that the opportunity to prevent catastrophic climate change has passed. Are some ways of collapsing better than others? Once You Know takes viewers on an intimate trek across the abyss of a world at the edge of catastrophe, into the intersection of climate science and civil disobedience.

Connected to the natural world at an early age, Director Emmanuel Cappellin's worldview is shaken while traveling aboard a giant container ship to Asia, leaving him obsessed with how to best respond personally and collectively to the planet's existential crisis. Trapped at sea with 18,000 containers, his mind spins as he calculates the millions of goods and billions of economic transactions that will take place across the planet just from this one vessel, a cornerstone of the global growth machine responsible for altering the world's climate. Panic attacks take hold of him, and visions of apocalypse flash before his eyes.

This visceral experience becomes a turning point in Cappellin's life as he ponders how climate and energy scientists manage to face similar visions on a daily basis. His quest takes him around the world to meet five of the world's leading climate scientists and energy experts who have coined a new field of study: "collapsology". They share with him the truth, chaos, and hope in their work and allow him to challenge everything he took for granted — from growth-based democracies to personal freedoms.

This odyssey brings him back to himself and to Saillans, a small Alpine mountain village he calls home. In this life-size, open sky laboratory, where everything becomes once again possible: having a child, redefining questions of social justice, implementing participatory democracy, starting an energy transition...The first steps, perhaps, towards some kind of collective resilience.

Once You Know offers a unique perspective, both personal and universal, that re-contextualizes the climate problem as not something approaching, but something already here, and charts out how we can best live in this new paradigm while attempting to mitigate its worst effects. 

  • Jean-Marc Jancovici, energy and climate expert
  • Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post-Carbon Institute
  • Saleemul Huq, IPCC adaptation expert and climate negotiation advisor
  • Susanne Moser, IPCC climate resilience and communication expert

FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "After working all my life on climate issues and seeing different communication strategies fail one after the other, I deeply felt the need to redefine the subject of climate change by bringing it home, by making it physical and intimate. I wanted to make a film that breaks away from the duality of business-as-usual voices on one side and climate activists' voices on the other.

The film questions both sides and offers a third voice, trembling but true, to reach a growing part of the public who feels increasingly numb because - like the scientists and activists I met for the film, and like myself - they have become skeptical about false hopes.

As a new world emerges in terms of climate politics and local adaptation efforts, the film takes us, through my characters' search for personal and collective resilience, to places where true hope may remain.

I have dedicated this film to the upcoming generation because I believe it is essential to give global youth examples of constructive and humanist ways to involve themselves in what is going to be the fight of their generation. The lure of new forms of terrorism, rising out of claims of climate justice and survival, is a real yet unseen danger. By offering an exclusive insider's account of the internal turmoil and hopes that have led to the rise and spread of the international movement Extinction Rebellion, by calling upon our higher selves in the face of tragedy, I think the film has managed to touch something delicate, true, and urgent."
— Emmanuel Cappelin

Preview link available upon request. Contact [email protected] for more information
Once You Know
Once You Know

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