Jeff's Reviews

Thoughts on every movie I've ever seen.

Home (2009)

Directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Starring Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Glenn Close, Jacques Gamblin


Beautiful sweeping photography, much like that of the “Planet Earth” series, from what must have been a Steadicam hanging from a helicopter. But the bird’s eye views are, unfortunately, accompanied by a bird’s eye view of biology and ecology. The lack of new and specific information makes it seem a bit slow. And Close’s seemingly literal translation from the original French is a little awkward. Could use a bit of polish. There are thousands of thriving species on the planet? How about millions? Chile, not Chili.

By the end, we have recognized the general problems that the Earth faces due to global warming. The movie succeeds in making you, as a human being, feel guilty. But what’s the call to action? Stop eating hamburgers? “Documentaries” like this one tend to focus on the causes and results of global warming instead of what we individually and as nations need to do to fix the problem.

What is missing, I feel, is coordination within and between governments to share knowledge, agree on what is the appropriate action, and take the necessary steps to fix things. Let’s really point some fingers, expose who is responsible, and make some changes. Let’s decide which governments need to take which actions, set aggressive deadlines, and hold them accountable. We can only expose and complain about this problem for so long before we actually have to do something about it.

Scored with appropriately airy chants which exude spaciousness and humanism. And a good foley job. Surely you can’t hear the sound of rolling sand from a helicopter.

The circumstances of this film’s release (simultaneously in theaters, on DVD, and as a free online download) is a testament to the sincerity of the message. These filmmakers are really trying to tell us something. Limited, for-profit releases have hampered similar messages from celebrities like Gore and DiCaprio.

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