In 1542 the astronomer Copernicus announced his theory that the earth orbited around the sun, and not vice versa. This extraordinarily controversial claim challenged Church doctrine that the earth was the immoveable center of the universe, and set the stage for centuries of conflict between science and religion.
THE MOVING EARTH chronicles the scientific revolution throughout Renaissance Europe, which directly challenged Church authority, including the efforts of Tycho Brahe, a Danish nobleman who built the first observatory and catalogued the planets and stars; Johannes Kepler, a German mathematician who established the laws of planetary motion; Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist tried by the Inquisition for his advocacy of Copernicanism, forced to recant, and placed under house arrest; Giordano Bruno, the Italian astronomer who, for his theories of the infinite nature of the universe, was accused of heresy and burned at the stake; and Isaac Newton, the English physicist who described natural laws such as universal gravitation.
The film tells this story with archival graphics, animation, and dramatic re-creations. Contemporary scientists and historians, including Simon Schaffer (Cambridge University), John Christianson (Luther College), Owen Gingerich (Harvard University), George Coyne (Vatican Observatory) and Patricia Fara (Cambridge University), discuss these groundbreaking developments, which led to the creation of modern science and the way we view our world and the universe today.
"A splendid chronicle of the scientific shift brought about through studies of planetary motion during the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. ...The strength of the film is its multi-dimensional quality. Visual elements such as historical engravings, paintings, animations, and manuscripts aid the presentation immensely and bring a realistic element into play that knits the ideas of several periods of history together into a seamless fabric." —Leonardo Reviews
GRAND PRIX: 13th AVICOM Film Festival, Turin Italy. February 15, 2010
BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM: Vedere la Scienza Festival - International Scientific Film Festival, Milano. Italy. April 2009
GRAND PRIX: 46th International Festival TECHFILM 2009. Prague, Czech Republic. March 2009