“I am one man among seven billion others. For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress. We can’t always manage to live together.
Why is that?
I didn’t look for an answer in statistics or analysis, but in man himself.”
Based on his observation above, French photographer Arthus-Bertrand made an exquisite documentary which is simply called Human. He spent three years collecting real-life stories from 2,000 women and men in 60 countries.
This 3 hour long documentary shows dazzling images of the earth and short testimonials of people.
Some are famous public figures like: Jane Goodall (primatologist, anthropologist), Ban Ki-moon (United Nations Secretary General), Cameron Diaz (actress), Bill Gates (richest man in the world, philanthropist), Muhammad Yunus (pioneer of microcredits and microfinance). Others are ordinary people like you and I.
They talk in their native language (if I’m not mistaken I detected a couple of Creole languages) about universal issues: poverty, war, forgiving, homosexuality, family, women repression, life after death and many more. This documentary left a deeper impression and touched me more than I expected.
These are a few of the fragments. A Palestine father shares his feeling about losing his 10 year old daughter who was murdered by the Israeli police. He will not avenge her death because he wants to break the violence chain. An Israeli father shares the same story as well. His daughter was killed during a suicide bombing. He too strives for peace.
A Syrian girl emotionally recollects her memories when she and her family left Damascus to flee the atrocities. One Tutsi woman remembers how lucky she was to be able to escape the bloodshed in Rwanda. She was 14 years old then. A boy from Central – Africa wants to avenge his brother’s death.
One old man from South-Africa tells about his love for his wife till the death did them part. His wife was ill and this man took care of her. He took her to bathe, he dressed her, he fed her. He says he didn’t mind doing that. He did all that because of love.
A tattooed guy tells about his grandfather who lost his wife. One day the grandfather asks a cashier to help him doing groceries which he normally did with his late wife. The grandfather asks it like this “Would you help me looking for this. Normally my wife helped with this but she has recently changed her address to heaven”. The grandson, that tattooed guy, says to his grandfather “Grandpa, you always see the glass as half full”. The grandfather answers “It is a beautiful glass”.
Those inspiring fragments are part of this interesting movie. I have learnt so many life lessons from it. I have been touched by the honesty. Sad also I am by looking at the fragments of those poor men and women who barely can make ends meet. This documentary is a reminder that there is hope for humanity despite the actual situation the world is confronted with today.
So yes, I highly recommend this film. Between the interviews it shows alluring aereal images of the world, not only of the nature but of the people. I recognize images of Les Castellers (human tower) in Catalunya, Spain and those of a pack swimming pool in Beijing, China. Beautiful, very beautiful.