Archive for August 17th, 2015

2009 documentary ‘Home’ depicts a planet on the brink of enormous change

August 17, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 17, 2015

Home, the visually stunning 2009 documentary film directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is partly a biography of the planet Earth, partly a history of the human species and partly an environmental manifesto.

According to its promotional material, the movie was shot in 120 locations in 54 nations. The images, fittingly, seem to cover every environment on the planet, from arid desert to lush jungle to frozen landscape to artificial archipelago. At one moment narrator Glenn Close is discussing a city filled with skyscrapers; the next, seemingly, focus has shifted to a plain covered by nigh-identical suburban homes and the network of asphalt roads that serve the cars these communities require. Or perhaps we’re exploring the antithesis of these places — poverty-stricken urban sectors where electricity, food and clean drinking water are luxuries, not givens.

But more on that in a minute. Another thing that’s striking about Home is the movie’s varying time scales. The movie begins by describing events in terms of thousands of millennia. The age of the Earth, for instance, is about 4.5 billion years. The first organisms began appearing a few hundred million years after that.

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