Global Visions Film Series: Earth


Marcia Mikulak

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Global Visions Film Series: Earth

“Earth” is an engrossing look at the planet on which we live, traveling from pole-to-pole and presenting spectacular footage of the vast diversity of animal life that shares the fragile eco-systems of this planet. The film achieves its powerful cinematography by filming the habitats from the eyes of the animals living in them while drawing us in as we view the young of species both large and small, familiar and unusual.

Indeed, forty-two animal species are shown in the movie “Earth,” and the apparent indifference of nature’s unending need for survival and reproduction are shown in terms of both the human tendency to make predators into villains and prey into victims. However, a deeper look will reveal an order that supersedes these simplistic perspectives, revealing the continual cycle of renewal and survival common to earth’s history.

The film is about more than just life and death though. It is about the breathtaking beauty and the unending variation and creativity of evolution that unfolds over eons of time and also right before our eyes. Time-lapse images reveal the hidden energy that produces growth and reproduction in the multiplicity of eco-systems thriving on our planet. Such sequences are lyrical, musical, and punctuated with an ancient rhythm that relentlessly proceeds throughout all life, and makes clear that the forces of nature are, and will always be, beyond our ability to tame them.

We may seek to control nature, but without a deep and expanding understanding of the complexity and interconnectivity of the life forces and processes that produce life forms on this planet, humans may find that they are expendable.

It is clear from the extraordinary footage that this film is about taking our breath away, and making us pause to appreciate the profundity and diversity of life on earth, and to embrace the responsibility we have to respect and protect it while we learn to collaborate with nature, and cease our desire to control it. This is a heartwarming film, a smile-generating experience that at the same time seeks to wake us up from our complicity and compliance in slowly harming the only home we have.

Be prepared to be wowed, and to be contemplative as you watch life on earth thrive, navigate, surrender, die, and give birth to the next generation of evolving species. It is impossible to not come away from this film with a renewed respect and appreciation and awe for the planet we call home.

Marcia Mikulak

Associate Professor UND Department of Anthropology

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