The documentary Home, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, is for the most part done with great beauty, sensitivity and grace. Indeed, Home is a film that opens your eyes to the devastating state of our planet, with an incredible cinematography and a well crafted narrative.
Firstly, the cinematography of this documentary is stunning; with beautifully rich aerial shots of more than 50 countries, you get to see our planet like you’ve never seen it before. The film, like its tagline suggests, is a “stunning visual portrayal of Earth”. Even the images of pollution that humans have caused in the last fifty years look appealing to the eye. The film contrasts the beauties and miracles of our planet with the disasters humans have come to create, yet does so with respect and sensitivity for the human race.
Even if the pictures and images do most of the talking, the narration and score add immensely to the beauty of the film. In the English version, Glenn Close (six-time Academy Award winner) is a calm, but very intense narrator. She does not sound alarmed by the facts she is enumerating throughout the film. The score accompanying Glenn Close’s voice is also quite powerful, bringing as much to the film as the images do.
Even more so powerful is the contents of the documentary, which underlines the most overwhelming and alarming truth about our planet’s (our home’s) future. The documentary shows numerous ways in which our current human activities are not at all sustainable. Our over-use of water, our dependance on non-renewable resources, the use of agriculture to feed cattle as well as the Earth’s overpopulation are the main causes for the quick destruction of the fragile state of our planet. Personally, I found interesting that the director drew attention to our own country, Canada, and how Canadians are dangerously wasting land, water and energy. This is mostly the case in the oil sands of Alberta and Saskatchewan, all in the strive to obtain harder-to-get oil and other fossil fuels. The fact that the film mentions Canada as one of the actors of this alarming situation makes us realize that the catastrophic pollution and abuse does not happen only in countries far away from us.
Also, the narrator mentions several times in the film that everything is linked, that we all come from the same family. However, it is shocking to see how humans are doing exactly the contrary: we are shattering this natural balance and harmony, breaking the links of elements that were once intimately linked. Fortunately though, the film ends in an optimistic manner, telling us that it is too late to be pessimist about our fate as a species. We need to come together, not as citizens of different countries, but as human beings. However, I think we need to find more concrete solutions other than the ones mentioned at the end of the documentary. Our major world leaders are not ready to attack this giant of a problem, and could postpone the alarming situation another ten years if the population does not come up with concrete solutions that would help our Home to survive.