Movie Screening ‘Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds’

Anna Guðjónsdóttir, “little big one” (2016). Mixed media on paper. Courtesy: The artist.

Anna Guðjónsdóttir, “little big one” (2016). Mixed media on paper. Courtesy: The artist.


Movie Screening ‘Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds’

The Green Room

We are excited to host the screening of 'Fireball' followed by a discussion with one of the film's directors, Clive Oppenheimer.


Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer's film "Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds" (2020) takes viewers on an extraordinary journey to discover how shooting stars, meteorites, and deep space impacts have focused the human imagination on other realms and worlds, and on our past and our future. In Clive's words (responding to Brother Guy Consolmagno of the Vatican Observatory, who explains the joy of seeing a shooting star):

"It reminds me of the dynamics of different orders of knowledge: the rational and the poetic, the imaginative and the intellectual. And it seems to me that you use the same thought processes to deal with matters that are so vast - the cosmos; and yet matters that are so intimate - the soul."

This film can therefore serve as an argument for combining the efforts and achievements of science, the humanities, and indigenous knowledge in addressing the issues that concern and (or) fascinate humanity. The various intersectional fields that emerge from this collaboration have been the ongoing research focus of many fellows at THE NEW INSTITUTE.

We look forward to a fruitful discussion and insights into the ideas behind "Fireball", as envisioned by Clive Oppenheimer and Werner Herzog in the process of its creation.


Clive Oppenheimer is a world-renowned volcanologist, filmmaker, and writer. Apart from ‘Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds’, he and Werner Herzog co-created another film – ‘Into the Inferno’ (2016), a documentary about the geologic and cultural impact of volcanoes. Clive Oppenheimer’s recent book ‘Mountains of Fire: The Secret Lives of Volcanoes’ (2023) has received numerous positive reviews. Blending cultural history, science, myth and adventure, ‘Mountains of Fire’ reminds us that, wherever we are on the planet, our stories are profoundly intertwined with volcanoes.

Clive’s academic interests also include geoarchaeology, paleoclimatology, sensors and atmospheric science. He is Professor of Volcanology at the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, and an Associate Fellow of the Etna Observatory of the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV).

This movie screening is a closed event. If you have any questions about this event, please contact Victoria Sukhomlinova. Press inquiries can be made here.

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