It is the year 2142. Earth has suffered severe ecological damage due to billions of humans inhabiting the planet. The sky is black and acid rain has been pouring down for a century.
Fortunately, for some, a sanctuary was constructed: Ecoban, a living city genetically engineered to house an elite society. As with many cities, Ecoban exists thanks to the tireless work of an impoverished underclass — the Diggers. But the very city that they strenuously work to keep alive is killing them. Mercury and sulfur are poisoning their environment, and children are being born blind. So it is up to Ecoban’s creator, along with a group of rebel Diggers, to restore balance to the world, to once again see the blue sky — but at the cost of Ecoban and its inhabitants.
This is the story depicted in the movie Sky Blue, a Korean anime film playing in limited release around the United States. Sky Blue includes classic anime characters featured against visually stunning animated backgrounds and environments created using CGI. To me, the style of Sky Blue seemed like a cross between Princess Mononoke and Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. I enjoyed the music and felt that the soundtrack enhanced the film well. But what I really liked was the story. Unlike The Day After Tomorrow, which presented the issue of global climate change in a more blatant manner, Sky Blue wove the subject into the plot seamlessly. This portrayal of a world devastated by human activity had me focusing on the story and rooting for the characters rather than the politics of global warming. Even if you’re not a fan of anime, I recommend seeing Sky Blue, at the very least, to help support movies dealing with issues such as environmental justice and anthropogenic climate change — even if it is only science fiction.
According to the official movie website, Sky Blue is still scheduled to appear in one-week engagements in the following cities:
Varsity Cinema , Seattle, WA – March 18, 2005
Starz Film Center, Denver, CO – March 25th, 2005
International Film Series, Boulder, CO – March 25th, 2005
University of Iowa, IA – April 2 or 3, 2005
Belcourt Theater, Nashville, TN – April 8th, 2005
(more cities to come)
If anyone else has seen Sky Blue, I’d be curious to hear your opinion of the film. Got a favorite film addressing environmental issues? Do tell.