IN A NUTSHELL:We're not out of the woods yet when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this lovely wildlife documentary reminds us of the many miracles that occurred in nature during this past year. Narrated by the award-winning broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, this beautiful film features how nature has flourished around us while humans have been in lockdown.
This just might be a film you'll want to watch with your family to remember what an astonishing year we have experienced and one that will go down in history. It's a reminder of the amazing, wondrous world in which we live.
THINGS I LIKED:The film was produced by the BBC and begins by showing us drone footage of streets in famous cities around the world that were shockingly empty when the lockdown first began in March 2020.
Scientists have discovered new sounds they had never heard before as animals seem to be enjoying new freedom and quiet. "Less noise, less fume in the air... Creatures around us have flourished, by and large, in this last year," Attenborough stated. He continued, "The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even modest changes to what we do can make a big difference."The documentary feels like a love letter to planet Earth.
We get to see gorgeous drone shots of landscapes all over the world. Stunning cinematography.
The scenes that showed families of penguins walking down city streets cracked me up.
I thought it was fascinating to watch the famous older deer in Nara, Japan remember how to get to their old grazing areas outside the tourist resort when humans weren't around to feed them daily treats of rice brain crackers anymore during quarantine. After finding grassy areas to graze, the deer have been seen to now be more healthy and happy. From the epic line in the movie Jurassic Park, "Nature finds a way."My husband grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and has shared stories with me about how his lungs would burn after riding his bike around due to the terrible air pollution. It was incredible to see the photos of various cities before Covid and then during quarantine that showed the dramatic change in air quality.
That was amazing to watch the people in India finally be able to see the Himalayan mountains from their rooftops once the air was free of smog.
I was completely intrigued to learn that whales began talking to each other more and because the seas were free from cruise ships, they were able to work together to gather food in new ways. More animals have been able to give birth to more babies during quarantine!
I appreciated that the film didn't just show how the world is better off without humans. It showed some solutions for how we can live more harmoniously with animals. For example, there is a village in India where elephants were eating all of the rice crops that threatened the food supply of the people living there, so the villagers decided to try something different. They planted special rice crops farther away just for the elephants to enjoy. Did it work? It did! Surprisingly, the elephants no longer cross into the village, but they stay in their specially-designated crop area! Amazing!
THINGS I DIDN'T LIKE:All of the examples in the film allude to the fact that nature has benefitted from the absence of humans. Do the filmmakers want to suggest that animals are more important than humans? The purpose of the movie was to document the astonishing changes in nature during the pandemic, but some of the reviews I've read seem to reveal that there are people who think humans are evil and terrible. One reviewer actually said that Covid should "up her game" and kill 3 billion people. Yikes. Yes, humans HAVE harmed animals and nature, but we have also done many good things to protect the planet and save animals too. Critics of Agenda 21 claim this film promotes the United Nations resolution to subjugate humanity under an eco-totalitarian regime. What do YOU think? I'd love to read your comments below!
There is some misleading footage that shows a hippopotamus wandering by a gas station in South Africa as if it wandered there because of its newly-found freedom while humans were in lockdown. The reality is that it had actually escaped from a nearby zoo.
So, what's going to happen once the pandemic is over? Will humans make changes to protect wildlife or will we go back to our old ways? The film asks if we can better coexist with animals.
TIPS FOR PARENTS:A leopard kills another animal to eat.
A cheetah kills an animal to feed its young.
Your children will seem some amazing footage of nature.
You can see the rest of my review on my Movie Review Mom YouTube channel!