This article investigates cinema’s engagement with the Malthusian movement to control global overpopulation in the long 1960s. It examines the contested production and reception of Z.P.G.: Zero Population Growth (Michael Campus, 1972) and Soylent Green (Richard Fleischer, 1973) to shed new light on the nexus of science, activism, and the media. It argues that the history of the movement, usually reconstructed as an elite scientific and political discourse, cannot be fully understood without also taking into account mass-market entertainment.
- film history
- science fiction