Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Natural History on the Big Screen introduces audiences to some of the latest environmental films that address the relationship humans have with the planet. The "Stories From a Transforming World" three-
series presented with the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital and curated by Joshua Bell, Curator of Globalization at the National Museum of Natural History, will explore multiple perspectives on the Age of Man - from close to home, to a global scale.



October 13, 6:30 p.m.
 (Bolivia/US, 2015, 76 min.) 

The world's largest salt flat, Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, is a pristine, otherworldly expanse of white. For generations, the only signs of life
have been the "saleros" who harvest salt from its radiant surface. This remote region is thrust 
into the future when Bolivia's leaders
embark on a planto extract a precious mineral found beneath the salt crust, 
and to build an infrastructure connecting the Salar to the
outside world. Salero, a nonfiction feature film, is a poetic 
journey through the eyes of Moises, one of the last remaining salt gatherers.
Set at the dawn of the modern age in 
one of the most secluded places on earth, Moises' story explores how identity is formed by both
tradition and progress. 
Directed by Mike Plunkett. 

Followed by a discussion with Joshua Bell, Curator of Globalization at the National Museum of Natural History, and Robert Albro,
Research Associate Professor at American University's Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. 


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November 29, 6:30 p.m.

DEATH BY DESIGN (US, 2016, 73 min.)

Just what is the cost of our digital dependency? Director Sue Williams debunks the notion that electronics is a “clean” industry by 
investigating a number of environmental and health catastrophes wrought by production of our gadgets. From early poisonous practices 
in Silicon Valley, to China’s ongoing dumping of chemicals this is a story that isn’t being told - but can no longer be ignored. Directed by 
Sue Williams.

Followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Sue Williams and curator Joshua Bell. 

February, TBD, 6:30 p.m.
Film TBD