The beauty in the wider cause

Sometimes we find ourselves head down in the valley, or in the hedgerow and look up to the valley and lose sight of what is beyond those summits. There is plenty, and our activity down here is a direct effect of and a direct contribution therefore too, the conversations and the cause of our planet and our human needs. 

One illustration of this handed to me yesterday is the latest film by Yann Arthus-Bertrand of The Earth from the Air photographs fame. Terra, his latest film, is true to form with extraordinary visuals, and editing, but the content asks us questions of our humanity and of our coexistence. 

The story itself is not that original: it’s the story of man’s life on Earth. So why tell it again? Because it is vital today that we wake up to what is happening: climate change, over-fishing, excessive animal production, intensive agriculture, the abuse and pollution of resources… such refrains have become clichés, but are nonetheless appallingly true, and involve the same almost inevitable consequences: humanity is heading for disaster, at full speed. But the public doesn’t want to accept this simple observation. It’s too much to take. And it’s not easy to understand the initial signs of a major change on Earth when those signals are mixed. How can we believe in global warming when New York City is buried under unprecedented snowstorms? If animals are suffering, why don’t they express this? How can maritime resources be running low when the oceans are so vast? In the disastrous climate of humanity’s failings concerning so many obligations and deadlines (climatic, social, war, resources), an umpteenth ‘the end is nigh’ announcement gets very short shrift from the man in the street.

And so… we close our eyes. That power comes from how we choose to represent things.

A film to believe in humanity

How do we now wish to regard what lives around us ? The force of TERRA resides in this very question. The film will show how our own image and representation of nature has always been decisive in human history on planet Earth, and how it can still change the course of events to come.
What if, within each human being, within each human heart, there was a way of changing things? And what if, by clearly understanding the importance of representation in human society and by grasping what effect a change in that representation could have on the living world, we could once again believe in our own future? The key is to draw on the extraordinary human ability to anticipate, and to revive an innate empathy, respect and emotional attachment to the very simplest aspects of life on Earth. In a word, very much of our age, TERRA’s ambition is to be ‘an ode to the human species’; a film openly advocating that humanity is still capable of ‘getting back to basics’. A humanist message, that is very deliberately positive.