Mar 28, 2017
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Overlooked & Underrated Docs & Features (click on broll or dschwartz for all his posts)
Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot, written by Pitiot, “
” is a beatific, passionate, bold documentary about life on Earth. The film is narrated in French, with English subtitles, and available on Netflix.
The narration is spoken in the first person, and that person is the spirit of humanity.
The focus is on the history of life beginning with lichen, and concluding with humanity’s environmental crisis. The images are utterly spectacular—I’d love to see the film on Blu-ray or 4K—and the narration approaches the poetic. The impact inspires the viewer to identify with the beauty and grace of our planet as well as to take responsibility for our destruction of its ecosphere. At film’s end there is the requisite, if not perfunctory, hint that we can still change course, stop the destruction, and regain balance. My spiritual and optimistic friends will castigate me for my pessimism.
One of the many places visited in this journey is Bangladesh, a nation of 160 million in the cross-hairs of global warming. As I received the images and information about this country’s vulnerability I thought of the current refugee crises in the Middle East, lives uprooted, tens of thousands dying. I then thought of environmental refugees and deaths. How will the nations of our world handle the displacement of tens of millions of human beings?
” is that rare documentary with the courage to address the human overpopulation of Earth. Meanwhile I impatiently await a well-funded documentary that addresses human overpopulation as the primary source of environmental destruction.
I’ve seen way too many documentaries of this ilk to say that “
” is my absolute favorite environmental film, so, let’s say it’s in my Top Five, and no matter how many docs of this ilk you’ve already seen, I cannot overstate the importance of seeing this one. The beauty of the images, together with the poetry of its narration put “Terra” in a category of its own.
D. Schwartz October 26, 2016