Cinematic geographies : environmental determinism in film analysis

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Through much of its history, film has been used as a mechanism to help naturalize human cultural assumptions. Through this process human cultural stereotypes are positioned as arising from nature. The theory of environmental determinism has been used as a mechanism to further this naturalizing process. This paper analyzes two films, 'The Columbia' and 'No Country for Old Men', to uncover how environmental determinism is deployed across a range of film types as a naturalizing apparatus. The paper goes on to suggest how a more critical approach to film analysis using environmental determinism in conjunction with critical regionalism is a viable means of better understanding the complex interaction of nature and culture on film. This approach can help viewers better recognize when particular ideas within a film are structured as being derived from nature when in reality the ideas are human cultural artifacts.


Dessert odyssey: a search for the final resting place of Edward Abbey is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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