This film made one reviewer’s list of “Ten Best of the ’70s.” The deep-space special effects are very good for 1971, the small robots are cute and the story is an emotional grabber; however, it’s heavy-handed environmentalist propaganda.
Bruce Dern stars as a crew member on one of a fleet of spaceships carrying pods (geodesic domes with artificial gravity) which contain forests being kept alive until the Earth is fit to be refoliated (after nuclear war and/or pollution). He’s the only one of his crew who actually appreciates and respects the forests and who eats natural rather than synthetic food. Then the ships receive an order to forget about refoliation, jettison and nuke the forest pods, and return to regular cargo duty. Guess what—Dern’s character is probably going to disobey the order and reluctantly fight for his forests.
There may have been a rating review; my copy of this film is marked G, but PG (the rating on some Web sites) is more correct. Besides some mild profanity, a number of killings, and scenes of pain and blood, there’s the sadness of the overall story. Not appropriate for viewers too young to realize when they’re being manipulated.
I’m as angry as anyone else at the way some people are polluting the Earth and exterminating many plants and animals. But the new extreme of not altering the Earth at all is just as unscriptural and unreasonable as the other extreme; and it’s false to portray the issue as a war between “pro-polluter” jerks and those who virtually worship nature, with no middle ground. This film comes very close to doing just that. God’s first command to man (Genesis 1:28) includes multiplying, filling the Earth and subduing it (not destroying it), and ruling over all other creatures. Many environmental and population-control extremists hate and oppose every part of this command; their views are not an option for Bible-believers. I’ve read literature that called for the extermination of humanity in order to save the planet. But no matter how many people have damaged the Earth, our duty is still to use the Earth and to do so wisely.
Year of Release—1971