Southampton academic behind new film tackling climate anxiety

The film poster for My Extinction
The film poster for My Extinction

A new film offering an insight into one man’s awakening to climate change - and subsequent climate anxiety - will receive a one-off screening in Southampton on Tuesday 3 October 2023.

The documentary film, My Extinction, is produced by Dr Devorah Baum , Associate Professor in English Literature and Cultural Theory at the University of Southampton, and directed by her husband, Josh Appignanesi.

The film stars Josh Appignanesi as himself - a concerned but ineffectual father, who faces up to his climate anxiety and begins to act on the climate crisis. Dr Baum also features in the film, as herself. She said: "Despite the gravity of its subject, the film is intended as a comedy because we know how hard this kind of content is to swallow without some light relief."

The film includes scenes of the couple at home, showing the conversations that led to them taking part in climate activism.

"In filming this, we had a hunch that we’re not the only people - and not the only parents - who can often be found at home discussing the climate crisis and the concomitant sense of fear and guilt and hopelessness," said Dr Baum. "The idea of this film is that by sharing your feelings, even if they’re despairing feelings, you can begin to feel and act differently."

My Extinction features appearances from prominent authors and actors including Zadie Smith, Mark Rylance, Juliet Stevenson and George Monbiot.

The Southampton screening, at Harbour Lights Picturehouse in Ocean Village, will be followed by a Q&A with Dr Baum and her colleague Toby Litt, Associate Professor in Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and founder member of Writers Rebel, part of the climate action movement Extinction Rebellion.

The screening takes place on Tuesday 3 October 2023 at 6.15pm. Visit the to book tickets.