Description

“The Long Alchemy of Becoming: Aqua es Vida” is a short, artistic film depicting the history of the Universe shown through the microcosm of the Mexican town, Cuatro Ciénegas, in

“The Long Alchemy of Becoming: Aqua es Vida” is a short, artistic film depicting the history of the Universe shown through the microcosm of the Mexican town, Cuatro Ciénegas, in the state of Coahuila. The film takes the viewer from the start of the universe to what scientists believe will be its end, via a poem written by Dr. James Elser. “The Long Alchemy of Becoming: Aqua es Vida” starts with the Big Bang, through the formation of matter, stars, planets, including Earth. From there, the viewer witnesses how life evolved illustrated via scenes in the ciénegas (‘marsh’ in Spanish) found in Cuatro Ciénegas, Coahuila, Mexico. The film explores how life expanded out from water, producing plants and animals, including humans. Then, modern life in Cuatro Ciénegas is shown, including the modern agricultural practices that are threatening to destroy the ciénegas that sustain long histories of microbial evolution. The film concludes with the end mankind and the eventual destruction of Earth by the dying sun. Cuatro Ciénegas is a biologically and ecologically significant location, because its pools and marshes are home to many endemic species, including stromatolites, which are very rare, bio-chemical living structures. This film is part of a National Science Foundation grant, and reflects the extensive scientific research efforts in and around Cuatro Ciénegas and its unique pools.

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