November 2 @ 19.00-21.15 GMT / UTC online.

What does it mean to act as if ecological collapse is real? 

A reflection on The Magnitude of All Things (Flying Eye 2021) with director Jennifer Abbott, climate psychologist Caroline Hickman and End Fossil! student activists Phil and Ethan. This event launched’s October 2022 publication Borrowed Time: on death, dying dying and change. An essay on The Magnitude of All Things from the book can be read here.

This conversation took place with three audiences: at Dartington Hall, at Falmouth University and online.

The Magnitude of All Things begins with Jennifer’s moment of eerie disorientation when she encounters falling white snow in the midst of a Canadian summer. She then realises it’s not snow at all, but ash from surrounding forest fires triggered by global heating. She tells us of the visceral shock this realisation triggered in her, her body recognising and remembering the feeling it evoked: her grief for her beloved sister Saille, who had recently died of cancer… 
Jennifer’s navigation of ecological grief is principally achieved through the voices of others, as she seeks out and talks with people who find themselves at the front lines of an unfolding mass-extinction. Each of her witnesses brings this unthinkable thing down to a human and a local scale: a First Nations land protector, the president of a vanishing South Pacific Island, a Separa family living in the Amazon, a bereaved father and coral-reef ecologist, teenage activists from the Global North and from the Global South, others. Abbott interweaves their testimonies with letters written by Saille during her final months, and with her own reflections on sharing in her sister’s awakened, grace-filled dying. 

Mat Osmond from ‘All This…’ in the borrowed time book
The Magnitude of All Things – Will my grandchildren’s eyes see what I see?

The imagery, music, and storytelling are utterly captivating as Abbott takes viewers on a spellbinding and heartbreaking journey through grief. She shows through grief circles and kitchen-table conversations how accepting and processing loss can lead to personal renewal, which sets the stage for authentic responses. 

~Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight

“Director Jennifer Abbott, however, harnesses a new emotion that films about climate change have yet to experience: grief. The Magnitude of All Things moves with the unshakeable sensation of grief and loss. It’s an unexpected and effective feeling, particularly as it arrives at a time when many audiences grieve for the sense of normalcy that 2020 has stripped from their lives.”

—  POV Magazine

“Perhaps the most visceral reasoned call to action for humanity since An Inconvenient Truth.”

– Tammy Bannister, VIFF Programmer 

“We have to face it”: Filmmaker Jennifer Abbott on ecological grief. “Abbott reminds us that the world is staggeringly beautiful and in the midst of unprecedented destruction. She introduces us to Elders, teenagers, politicians and a coral scientist (to name a few) who are navigating feelings of hope and loss while doing everything they can to turn the tides.” 

—  The Narwhal

“The world premiere of Sundance award-winning Vancouver filmmaker Jennifer Abbott’s new feature doc The Magnitude of All Things tops a powerful lineup of National Film Board of Canada (“NFB”) produced and co-produced documentary and animation at the Vancouver International Film Festival (“VIFF”)”


“Abbott frames the way our society is dealing with climate change through the lens of her sisters terminal illness, and the grief she felt following her sister’s death. She draws a direct line from that personal grief to the grief of those people whose homes are being threatened, impacted, or even destroyed by climate change.

—  Awesome Friday

“The idea of The Magnitude of All Things came to me suddenly in the summer of 2014 when I mistook ash falling from a climate-change-related forest re for snow. Accompanying the ash’s slow descent was a feeling of grief.”

—  Playback

“Brave and painful, the film explores our emotional response to situations too vast to grasp.” 

— Anne-Marie Hoeve, 5 Media

“Watch it and weep: Jennifer Abbott’s remarkable, poetic, and lyrical film about the profound urgency, grief, and gravity of climate change is deeply moving.” 

~ Nick Holdsworth, Modern Times

 4 stars – “Accept it or not, watch and feel the two storylines play out in this superb film.” 

—Volkmar Richter, The National Observer

“There is so much in this film to which we can all connect – we know the pain of grief for losing a loved one – and now we are increasingly understanding the grief that is so deeply connected to increasing environmental loss.” 

— Ashlee Cunsolo Dean, School of Arctic and Sub-Arctic Studies at the Labrador Institute featured in The Magnitude of All Things

“You don’t have to push it away. It’s a tremendous relief to turn towards our deepest fears and the climate crisis that we as a species have created. I hope that the film empowers some viewers to do just that.”

— Jennifer Abbott interviewed in Edify

An interview with Jennifer Abbott: Grieving for a world on fire 

—Vancouver Sun

  • Winner – Best Canadian Feature Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2020)
  • Winner – Best Nature & People Film Ulju Mountain Film Festival, South Korea (2021)
  • Winner – Audience Choice AwardDocLands Documentary Film Festival, San Rafael, California (2021)
  • Special Mention: Documentary Riviera International Film Festival, Italy (2021)
  • Special Mention of the Jury for the Grand PrixFestival International du Film d’Environnement FReDD, Toulouse, Occitanie (2021)
  • Creative Excellence Award Banff Mountain Film Festival, Canada (2021)
  • Nominee for Canadian Screen Awards, Best Cinematography ● Best Editing, Feature Length Documentary Category  Canadian Screen Awards, Toronto, Canada (2022)