Full circle.

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Full circle. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

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About this work


Referred to as a 'spoken film' in the opening credits, this is an animated film which looks quite dramatically at the origins of human civilisation, the development of city living and the possibility of over-population in the future leading to the collapse of civilsed life. Narration is provided by Ian Richardson, Nancy Marchand, Earle Hyman, Carlos Montalban and Maya Chadda. 3 segments.



Physical description

1 encoded moving image (15:07 min.) : sound, colour



Copyright note

International Planned Parenthood Federation 1974

Terms of use

Some restrictions.
Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English.

Creator/production credits

Written by Barbara Eisberg and Lee R. Bobker. Produced and directed by Lee. R. Bobker. Art and animation by Charles Goetz. Edited by Irving Oshman. Executive producer for International Planned Parenthood Federation; Duncan Hazelden. Produced by Vision Associates for International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Narration is provided by Ian Richardson, Nancy Marchand, Earle Hyman, Carlos Montalban and Maya Chadda.


Segment 1 An animated circle is drawn and the words 'Full Circle' appear. The opening credits are accompanied by drumming and then a contemporary music score over a stylised naturalistic setting. The origins of civilisation from the stone age, the middle ages and then more contemporary times are dramatised using graphic images, animation, evocative narration and music. Nature is plundered to feed the march of civilisation and the animation has a more recognisable 1970s asthetic. The dreams of humankind are dramatised by many dots appearing on a globe (resembling Earth) - the scarcity of resources is referred to and mass migration towards the cities. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:41:00 Length: 00:05:41:00
Segment 2 A sense of division is created in the busy cities - the animation is, on one hand, lively to suggest the busyness and growth of the city and, on the other hand, the montony of life is also suggested with repetition and uniformity. Historical illustrations of early industrialisation and urban squalor are juxtaposed with contemporary narration about the 'sickness' of modern life. The narrator comments that there are 'too many people'. Time start: 00:05:41:00 Time end: 00:09:55:00 Length: 00:04:11:00
Segment 3 Over images of decrepit red brick walls, the narrator refers to the fragmentation of modern life. Windows are shown lighting up with individuals seen in silhouette in an apartment block; the shot widens and instead of an apartment block, there is a man brandishing a knife. Wider social fragmentation is alluded to with the decline of religion (clamouring hands are seen) and the lack of leadership. A male narrator says that we have come 'full circle' and that we do in fact have the technology to overcome all the hurdles identified in the film. A couple with two children are shown. Better planning and repopulating the countryside are mentioned. Time start: 00:09:55:00 Time end: 00:15:07:00 Length: 00:05:12:00


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