Environmental Documentary Review: Home 2009
By Sara Hoffman
Home, the film that broke the world record for the largest film release in history, opened internationally on World Environmental Day in 2009 for free on YouTube as well as in theatres. The non-profit documentary by goodplanet.org President Yann Arthrus-Berthrand with epic visuals illustrates the planet's fragile state entirely from a bird's-eye view. Viewers see the impact humans have had on Earth's landscapes in the film's spectacular aerial scenes from more than 50 countries.
The omniscient narrator begins with a brief, but explicit overview of how the Earth was created. "Our Earth relies on a balance...a subtle, fragile harmony," states Glenn Close in the English language version. "The engine of life is linkage. Everything is linked... nothing is self-sufficient." By scientifically explaining well-known places' origins and environmental significance, the compelling documentary provides a relatable and all-encompassing view of our Earth.
Home is comparable to Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series only with more of a purpose. You may want to brew a pot of coffee, because falling asleep in the middle of it could only result in waking up feeling depressed. Though the facts can be scary (and the music doesn't help, either) the conclusion is uplifting.
It highlights the wonderfully forward-thinking acts of cities and regions that prove there is still time for change. Accomplishments of cities such as Freiburg, Germany, which is one of the most eco-friendly cities in the world; accomplishments like building wind farms and looking to the sun instead of oil reserves for energy; accomplishments like using moderation, intelligence and sharing to solve the problems of the world.
The fragile scenes of Home visually portray just how much the little things we do add up to affect the whole world - "the ecosystem has no borders" is a mantra from the film. What's important is not what's gone, but what remains.
Buy Home at Amazon.com.