Above a troubled planet

A film that takes a bird's eye view on the effects of climate change debuts in the United States

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Feb 3, 2011
Chances are you've never seen climate change from this perspective. French filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand's __HOME__ takes the viewer into the sky to peer down upon a beautiful and fragile Earth in distress. The movie, originally released across in 2009 and shown on televisions across Europe and Asia, made its US premier this week to an auditorium full of people on the campus of Columbia University on Monday (31st January)."This movie is like a pedagogic movie trying to explain how we came to this place," linkurl:Arthus-Bertrand;http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/v2/yab_us.htm told __The Scientist__. "Man is a fantastic species. We have done so many amazing things, but now we have put the Earth in danger."__HOME__ is shot using only aerial photography, a technique for which Arthus-Bertrand is well known. Sweeping shots of otherworldly landscapes displaying the majesty of our planet intermingle with surprisingly intimate close-ups on human and animal inhabitants suffering the effects of climate change....
peer down upon a beautiful and fragile Earth in distress. The movie, originally released across in 2009 and shown on televisions across Europe and Asia, made its US premier this week to an auditorium full of people on the campus of Columbia University on Monday (31st January)."This movie is like a pedagogic movie trying to explain how we came to this place," linkurl:Arthus-Bertrand;http://www.yannarthusbertrand.org/v2/yab_us.htm told __The Scientist__. "Man is a fantastic species. We have done so many amazing things, but now we have put the Earth in danger."__HOME__ is shot using only aerial photography, a technique for which Arthus-Bertrand is well known. Sweeping shots of otherworldly landscapes displaying the majesty of our planet intermingle with surprisingly intimate close-ups on human and animal inhabitants suffering the effects of climate change.
HOME depicts a distressed planet from above.
"The imagery in the movie is hard to forget," said medical historian Sabine Marx, managing director of Columbia's Center for Research on Environmental Decisions, during a panel discussion held after the showing. Artistic representations of nature and science, she continued, can help "keep a marker in our brains that will remind us that we're connected, and there are things that have to be done to preserve this beautiful planet."The film, with its melodramatic soundtrack, dire narration courtesy of actor Glenn Close, and harrowing imagery of the destruction humans have wrought upon our planet, sets a somewhat depressing tone. But near its end, __HOME__ also delivers the message that, "It's too late to be a pessimist." Arthus-Bertrand holds out hope that our species can undertake the massive cultural and behavioral change necessary to save Earth from fatal environmental perturbation and the destruction that a rapidly changing climate can spawn. "We are not guilty but we are responsible," he said.The distribution model Arthus-Bertrand employed with __HOME__ evinces his desire to reach as many people as possible. The entire hour-and-a-half long movie is free to watch on YouTube, and the filmmaker relinquished authorship rights in order to facilitate its dissemination. Arthus-Bertrand doesn't exclude scientists from the broad swath of humanity he hopes to inspire with __HOME__. "I think scientists need more passion," he said. "We need more activists."____HOME__ will be showing at the linkurl:Village East Cinema;http://www.villageeastcinema.com/angelika_film.asp?hID=166&ID=30p380k.68758678ik7121962.33 in New York City until February 10th. Admission is free.__
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:The Coming Health Crisis;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57882/
[January 2011]*linkurl:Corals in Crisis;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/57590/
[August 2010]*linkurl:Painting climate change;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57200/
[5th March 2010]

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