Alison Rose is a director and writer whose filmmaking explores how people experience and make sense of the world scientifically, ethically, and spiritually. Alisons interest in astronomy began in childhood. She grew up in rural places under dark skies, they travelled a lot and her mother conveyed a sense of wonder and affection for the constant, star-filled skies. At 10 Alison began keeping binoculars on her windowsill to look at the stars at night. She was born the year the cosmic microwave background was identified, when humanity learned it was part of an evolving universe. Her lifetime has spanned the working lives of her four characters. Alison studied political science at Trinity College, the University of Toronto and began a career in journalism, moving from daily news to magazine writing and eventually documentary filmmaking. When she set out to make her first film the subject that captivated her was the Vatican astronomical observatory, staffed by Jesuit priests.
Making The Film
This film was born of my love of Star Trek and the space adventure stories I watched as a kid. These shows were about relationships, exploration, ethics and big ideas. I met the first of the subjects of this film, Nick Woolf making my first film Galileos Sons. I met Donald Lynden-Bell at a physics and philosophy conference in Poland. I asked Donald if he knew Nick, and Donald exclaimed: know Nick Woolf? Im planning a reunion with Nick. Were going to take a road trip. Donald told me about the 50th reunion he was planning with the men hed spent a year with in California and I leapt at the chance to go with them. The road trip would be a real-life adventure with astrophysicists whod spent their lifetime exploring the universe.