Human, a new movie by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, the creator of Earth from Above and Home (see this post, July 2012) has just released a new documentary, Human, which explores the human condition through a sequence of personal testimonies interwoven with aerial views of the world. As such, it has similarities with his 6 Billion Others (2009).

Screenshot from Vol 1 of "Human"
Screenshot from Volume 1 of “Human”

You can read about it at Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB, although it was so new at the time of writing that neither had much to say about it. A positive review of it here concludes:

“Thanks to the unconditional and exceptional support of the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation, French TV France 2 and Google, this project produced by the GoodPlanet Foundation, will be accessible to the widest possible audience throughout the world. On September 12, Human Day, there will be a screening at the United Nations and it will be screened at the Venice Film Festival. Google will make the film available through dedicated YouTube channels with content in English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and French. These channels will offer three 90-minute films, forming a natural extension of the HUMAN project.”

The three parts of the (extended) movie are here: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, while the movie’s home page and trailer can be found here.

A few more green movies

Additions to the lists of green movies I posted a couple of years ago, under the same headings I used then:

Inspirational ‘art’ documentaries

Samsara 2012 (Rotten Tomatoes) (Internet Movie Database) (Wikipedia) Samsara reunites director Ron Fricke and producer Mark Magidson, whose award-winning films Baraka and Chronos were acclaimed for combining visual and musical artistry. Samsara is similar; the “Critics Consensus” on RT is that Samsara is a tad heavy-handed in its message but that its overwhelmingly beautiful imagery more than compensates for any narrative shortcomings.

(Note that there is an older movie of the same name, released about 2001 and telling the story of a Tibetan monk who renounces his vows to marry an attractive peasant girl. It’s a beautiful movie but not a green one; read about it on RT if you want to know more.)

Ashes and Snow 2005 (IMDB), a film by Gregory Colbert, uses both still and movie cameras to explore extraordinary interactions between humans and animals. The 60-minute feature “is a poetic narrative rather than a documentary and aims to lift the natural and artificial barriers between humans and other species”.

Activist documentaries

The Majestic Plastic Bag – a mockumentary 2010 (IMDb) A very different take on a serious issue, The Majestic Plastic Bag is a professionally produced short about the “life cycle” of the plastic bag. Narrated by Jeremy Irons, it gives us the chance to smile and then pause for thought about how we are contributing to the great Pacific garbage patch every time we use a plastic bag. Go to Youtube and sit back – it’s only four minutes long.

Amnesty has recently compiled a list of excellent movies with human rights themes – ten in their main list and more in the comments. Those I have seen give me confidence in saying that all of them will be worth watching – though seeing all of them in a short period may be inadvisable.