On June 5, 2009, World Environment Day, something happened in movie making and the media that has never happened before. The documentary movie Home was simultaneously released in theaters, television, on DVD, and on the Internet in five continents. Director Yann Arthus-Bertrand and producers Denis Carot and Luc Besson wanted to make this movie free to everyone because they believed in the importance of the film’s contents.
The cinematography by Michel Benjamin and Dominique Gentil is amazing. I have never seen such photography of our diverse planet. High-definition “Cineflex” cameras were suspended from a gyro-stablized sphere from rails on the base of a small helicopter. They flew over 50 counties with 488 hours of footage to edit from.
The narrations were done by Glenn Close, in English, Jacques Gamblin, in French, and Selma Hayek, in Spanish. Glenn Close’s narration is heartfelt and engrossing.
The movie begins with a vivid description of how life formed on our planet while showing us arial views of colorful, jagged formations and steam-heated pools. It describes how the balance of our biosphere formed to create the complex structures of today’s ecosystems.
The slow-moving arial photography moves over vast farms, ranches, forests, and major cities of the world. It shows how human life has impacted the ecosystems of our planet and altered certain natural structures. It speaks to the viewer of carbon impact and global warming.
Home engages the audience with solutions to our environmental problems. It leaves us with a positive feeling of hope and a choice to responsibly involve all of us in the solutions. I highly recommend this movie. Even if you don’t agree with the global-warming evidence, the photography alone would be well worth your time and enjoyment.
You can watch it from the comfort of your home, for free, on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqxENMKaeCU). I hope more important film documentaries will be distributed this way. Our new telecommunication technologies, like the Internet, may prove to be part of the solutions to our most severe global problems.
S. Blair Fox