Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction
Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction
Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction
Item#: CAL-1047
License:  Format: 

Running Time: 60 minutes
BONUS 80 Minute Version Also Included (One Disc)
Grades 7-Adult
A film by Species Alliance
Executive Producer: David Ulansey,
Director: Monte Thompson,
Producer: Chera Van Burg
Co-Producers: Susan Scott, Greg Tennant
SDH Captioned, Scene Selection


"Highly recommended. This understated but alarming documentary explores the causes and likely impact of the mass extinction that is occurring all over the world. Well-produced, informative, compelling and disturbing."
- Video Librarian

"Highly recommended. A beautiful and informative film that is also a call to action. Call of Life features in-depth analysis with thought-provoking interviews of articulate scientists, environmentalists, and visionaries. It is a powerful and compelling message...as an expert notes in the film, humanity has never been faced with a challenge on such a global scale. Call of Life is highly recommended for essentially all audiences, and would be a welcome addition to collections in most high school libraries, public libraries, and undergraduate academic libraries."
- Educational Media Reviews Online

"Call of Life is an urgent message about the current mass extinction and loss of biodiversity. Ends on a positive note, even suggesting some specific effect things we might do and how they might actually improve our own lives in the short term."
–Anthropology Review Database

"A great springboard for classroom discussion....The scientists, ecologists and other experts conclude that our modern, consumer-driven culture is creating a mass extinction to rival the one that killed off the dinosaurs 60 million years ago."
- School Library Journal

"Species around the world are disappearing faster than ever before due to our addiction to fossil fuel and other human activities. Call of Life helps us understand this horrible consequence of our actions or lack thereof--a painful but necessary understanding. Everyone needs to see this film."
-Terry Root, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment Department of Biology,
Stanford University

"A fascinating and informative film, Call of Life provides an unusually rigorous, in-depth analysis of the importance of biological diversity and the devastating consequences of the current, out-of-control extinction rate. Serious, rich and challenging, Call of Life rises far beyond the superficial jeremiads of many environmental documentaries and explores its subject in commendable depth. Fronted by some of the best-respected, most articulate names in ecology and environmental science, it should be required viewing for anyone with a vested interest in maintaining the diversity of life on Earth — and that, as the film explains so convincingly, means all of us."
- Reel Earth Film Festival, New Zealand


Best Science Communication Film, Reel Earth Festival, New Zealand
Humanitarian Award, Accolade Competition
Award of Excellence, The Accolade Film Awards
John Muir Award, Yosemite Film Festival
Finalist Award/Film, International Wildlife Film Festival
Official Jury Nominee, Reel Earth Festival, New Zealand
Official Selection, MountainFilm Festival in Telluride
Official Selection, Wild and Scenic Film Festival



All prices include DVD and PPR

K-12 Schools & Public Libraries: $89
Colleges, Institutions, & Businesses: $195
Colleges, Institutions, & Businesses (with DSL): $495

Call of Life is the first feature-length documentary to fully investigate the growing threat posed by the rapid and massive loss of biodiversity on the planet. Featuring leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists and others, the film explores the scope, the causes, and the predicted global impact of a mass extinction occurring on a scale not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

If current trends continue, scientists warn that half or more of all plant and animal species on Earth will become extinct within the next few decades. Entirely caused by human activities, this contemporary mass extinction is disrupting and destroying the complex, interconnected biological systems that support life on earth.

Through interviews with eminent biologists and ecologists, the film examines the primary drivers of species loss: habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and invasive species, all compounded by the expanding human population and our consumption patterns.

Call of Life tells the story not only of a crisis in nature, but also in human nature. In interviews with psychologists, anthropologists, and historians, the film looks beyond the immediate causes of the mass extinction to consider how cultural and economic myths, along with deep-seated behavioral patterns have allowed this crisis to develop, continue to reinforce it, and even determine our response to it.

Call of Life examines the collective and individual choices we have before us, and how the decisions we make -- or fail to make -- in the next decade will affect the habitability of Earth possibly for millions of years to come.

Among the scientists and other authorities featured in the film are:

• Richard Leakey, famed paleonanthropologist and author of The Sixth Extinction

• Norman Myers, renowned Oxford University authority on biodiversity, author of The Sinking Ark

• Stuart Pimm, Chair of Conservation Ecology at Duke University, author of A Scientist Audits the Earth

• Gretchen Daly, Director of the Stanford Center for Conservation Biology, author of The New Economy of Nature

• Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University conservation biologist and author of The Population Bomb

• Mary Evelyn Tucker, Co-Director, Yale University Forum on Religion and Ecology


"Today, we estimate that there could be several dozen species effectively going extinct every day. The extinction rate now is at least one hundred times and maybe a thousand times, conceivably ten thousand times greater than it has been in the prehistoric past. ...In many ways it's the biggest crisis since we came out of our caves 10,000 years ago."
- Norman Myers

"Biodiversity is fundamentally important to the survival of humanity. I do recognize that the survival of humanity may not necessarily be the most important thing, but we are humans and most of us think that it is important."
- Richard Leakey

"There are tremendously important bigger scale services like climate regulation, the nice climate we've had on earth in the past many thousands of years, is intimately linked to the plants and animal life on the planet."
- Gretchen Daly