Brain Pickings

Stardust: A Mesmerizing Short Film About the Voyager 1 and the Wonder of the Universe

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The breathtaking beauty and destruction of the cosmos, animated.

“Everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was … lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam,” Carl Sagan observed in his timelessly poetic Pale Blue Dot monologue, titled after the iconic photograph of Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 — the spacecraft launched in 1977 that gave us the story of how Sagan fell in love and went on to become as the first man-made object to travel out of the Solar System, an eternal witness to the unimaginable beauty and brutality of the universe.

From Dutch designer and director Mischa Rozema comes Stardust — a breathtaking short film based on a combination of real NASA footage and science fiction imagery, celebrating the legacy of the Voyager 1 and inspired by Dutch graphic designer Arjan Groot, who passed away from cancer at the age of 39. For maximum goosebumps, immerse yourself in full-screen mode:

Rozema tells us:

I wanted to show the universe as a beautiful but also destructive place. It’s somewhere we all have to find our place within. As a director, making Stardust was a very personal experience but it’s not intended to be a personal film and I would want people to attach their own meanings to the film so that they can also find comfort based on their own histories and lives.

The original score by Guy Amitai is available on iTunes, with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Dutch Cancer Society.

Complement with Neil deGrasse Tyson on whether the universe has a purpose.

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