Watch OUR PLANET for free. With David Attenborough
Few documentary series capture so well the beauty of nature like this one, while putting the threats facing it front and center. I marble at it, but I also wonder: Can these films really change us?
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Do films change beliefs and attitudes?
I believe in the power of films to change our behavior. I felt it in my own flesh when one documentary changed my eating habits from one day to the next. Cowspiracy was the final push for me to stop eating meat, then came others to leave their mark, and I hope that watching Our Planet helps us value the world we are living in. Earth might need more help now than ever.
Today, I would like to bring what I consider a masterpiece, where the effort of 600 crew members over four years, and 50 countries, made an eight-part series documentary of astounding beauty called Our Planet. To top it all off, our very own David Attenborough brings his voice to the mix.
But as it is almost always the case in these kinds of works, we seldom see the impacts of people on the natural world. In fact, humans are rarely shown and Nature seems abundant in almost every shot. I wonder if one might have the impression that what there is in front of us, is the state of our planet and not a carefully chosen set of parts.
I understand that audiences will not choose sorrow to watch, that hope is needed to take action and connect emotionally with the subject, and those producers need a return on their investments. But are nature filmmakers being disingenuous, partial, or misleading?
I don't think so, although I miss a bit more coverage of the consequences of our actions in these kinds of documentaries.
What I see in OUR PLANET is an honest effort to transform the awe we feel watching it, into specific actions. The creators of this series don´t wait for a final chapter where to give you the hard facts, reflections, turns, downs, and ifs. They insist, in each episode, on the ability of the individual to have an impact. We can make a difference, and there are tons of materials they prepared for helping us understand the bigger picture. Check them out, they are to be used by schools, and everybody else, so we act on the many things that we can do. Enjoy the ride!
This episode: On the unforgiving frontier of climate change, polar bears, walruses, seals, and penguins find their icy Edens in peril.
In this episode: Jungles and rainforests are home to an incredible variety of species like preening birds, intelligent orangutans, and remarkably ambitious ants.
In this episode: From fearsome sharks to lowly urchins, 90 percent of marine creatures live in coastal waters. Protecting these habitats is a battle humanity must win.
From Deserts to Grasslands
In this episode: Cameras follow desert elephants seeking sustenance, bison roaming North American grasslands, and caterpillars living the good life underground.
In this episode: Venture into the deep, dark, and desolate oceans that are home to an abundance of beautiful -- and downright strange -- creatures.
In this episode: The need for freshwater is as strong as ever. However, supply is becoming increasingly unpredictable for all manner of species.
In this episode: Examine the fragile interdependence that exists between forests' wide variety of residents, including bald eagles, hunting dogs, and Siberian tigers.
I encourage you to also watch the behind-the-scenes videos of the amazing work, and grit, and talent, and courage, of the team behind this production. Thank you so much for giving us your example!
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