Documentary Australia

Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography

Meet the most misunderstood element on Earth.

“Beautifully interwoven story of life and death — of carbon, of Earth, and of us.”
– Professor Tamara Davis, University of Queensland


Directors: Daniella Ortega, Niobe Thompson
Producers: Sonya Pemberton, Lucy Maclaren, Niobe Thompson
Narrator: Sarah Snook


With Carbon in the news every day, you might think you know everything about her. But you’d be wrong. This spectacular and surprisingly unorthodox documentary reveals the paradoxical story of the element that builds all life, and yet may end it all.

Narrated in first person by Sarah Snook (Succession), Carbon: The Unauthorised Biography tells of her birth in the violent core of an exploding star and of turbulent sagas through the fabric of our evolving Earth.

Accompanied by celebrated scientists, unique animations and a stunning orchestral score, Carbon reminds us of our humble participation in the most extraordinary story in the universe. 

Other films you might enjoy

About the Environmental Accelerator

We are committed to creating collective action on the world’s environmental crisis through documentary storytelling.

Documentary Australia’s innovative Environmental Accelerator program will amplify the impact of up to 10 new films over three years to increase awareness and action on a range of pressing environmental issues.

Through the Environmental Accelerator, Documentary Australia is connecting documentaries and impact partners in the environmental space, providing opportunities for films to be seen by audiences and used by existing campaigns to amplify and grow the movement.

We are curating a series of events, leveraging the films to increase the visibility of a suite of environmental issues, showcasing the value of documentary in supporting social impact, starting conversations around pressing environmental issues and engaging audiences to take action to support improved environmental outcomes.