Grief, destruction, and The Magnitude of All Things

"If this land hurts, we hurt."

Lands are being changed. People were born on these lands. They live there and have families and ancestors there. These places are being destroyed. And the people who love these lands are facing this loss. They’re living with grief for their lost homes. 1 2

The Magnitude of All Things, by Jennifer Abbott, is an exploration of the precarious nature of human lives, but also of landscapes.3

When Jennifer Abbott lost her sister to cancer, her sorrow opened her up to the profound gravity of climate breakdown. Abbott’s new documentary The Magnitude of All Things draws intimate parallels between the experiences of grief—both personal and planetary. Stories from the frontlines of climate change merge with recollections from the filmmaker’s childhood on Ontario’s Georgian Bay. What do these stories have in common? The answer, surprisingly, is everything. For the people featured, climate change is not happening in the distant future: it is kicking down the front door. Battles waged, lamentations of loss, and raw testimony coalesce into an extraordinary tapestry, woven together with raw emotion and staggering beauty that transform darkness into light, grief into action.

National Film Board

Watch the trailer.


  1. Our friend and colleague Alex Harris helped make this!
  2. The Magnitude of All Things, Jennifer Abbott, provided by the National Film Board of Canada
  3. Thinking about solastagia.

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