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Film Catalog » Subject Areas » Environmental Issues » Six Billion and Beyond

Six Billion and Beyond

Six Billion and Beyond - Image Produced by Linda Harrar.
60 min. Color. 1999.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: No
Catalog #: 0014
Order this title
Sale Price: $250.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

Half of the world's six billion people are under the age of 25. The decisions they make about how many children to have, and when to have them, will be critical in shaping life on earth in the next 50 years. But what factors are shaping these young people's decisions?

This thought-provoking documentary is, stated simply, the best and most comprehensive introduction available on video to the interconnected issues of population growth, economic development, equal rights and opportunities for women, and environmental protection around the world.

The film interweaves expert commentary with incisive portraits of young people in six diverse countries -- Mexico, Italy, Kenya, India, China, and the USA -- to illustrate how young people are making decisions about their lifestyles, patterns of consumption, and reproductive choices. The film demonstrates how these decisions will have an extraordinary impact on the world's environment, and how in turn the condition of the environment will strongly affect the quality of people's lives everywhere.

"Six Billion and Beyond" is a seminal work that will richly reward showing in a wide range of courses on economic development, population issues, the environment, sociology, and women's studies. It was produced by Linda Harrar Productions and is hosted and narrated by noted actress Blythe Danner.


"In this video, the diverse issues of population come vividly alive. It's an outstanding introduction to the human realities of changing populations and how they interact with economics, the environment, and what people want from life. I recommend it highly for students who would like to see how their counterparts face reproductive choices in Mexico, Kenya, India, China, and Italy, all within an hour and without leaving home." -- Prof. Joel E. Cohen, Laboratory of Populations, Rockefeller and Columbia Universities

"A fresh, contemporary, and highly informative look at global population issues. It adeptly reveals the heart of the population- environment challenge by exploring the choices and aspirations of today's teenagers within their own cultures. Engaging and thought-provoking, the film is ideal for generating spirited classroom discussion and debate on some of the most critical issues of our time." -- Sandra Postel, Senior Fellow, Worldwatch Institute, and former Adjunct Prof. of International Environmental Policy, Tufts Univ.

"This film manages, miraculously, not to fall into the simplistic trap of equating population growth with abstract numbers that count up doom and disaster. Rather, it reminds us that this is the most human of all subjects, and its future depends above all on the human lives of young women, who live in many different circumstances in many parts of the earth. It depicts these young women, appropriately, as looking ahead to lives very different from those of their mothers -- lives at a global turning point toward lower birth rates and population stabilization." -- Donella Meadows, Prof. of Environmental Studies, Dartmouth Univ.

"A terrific job. It is very well done and presents a very balanced perspective. The film tells an engaging story while tying in various social and economic factors that influence reproductive behavior, such as gender roles, government policy, economic well-being, and education. It would make an ideal introduction to a population course in American colleges and universities because it clarifies the complex issues surrounding population dynamics and human reproductive behavior, and presents their consequences at the macro level." -- Dr. Karusa Kiragu, Population Information Program, Johns Hopkins Univ.


Assn. for Asian Studies honoree
PBS National Broadcasts
California Academy of Sciences honoree

Additional Material

The producer has posted online an excellent study guide to accompany Six Billion and Beyond. The study guide is at http://www.pbs.org/sixbillion/studyguide/studyguide.html.

For even more information, go to http://www.pbs.org/sixbillion/.



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