Our Planet

Our Planet is a 2019 British nature film series, directed by Alistair Fothergill, Keith Scholey, Colin Butfield and Sophie Lanfear, and narrated by sir David Attenborough. The eight-episode film series aims to inspire its viewers to understand the natural world and to raise awareness about the human footprint on it. This is done through showing the beauty of varied habitats ranging from the arctic wilderness to the Jungles of South Africa, through surreal 4K footage and close-ups. But, by relying on this footage and aesthetically pleasing imagery, the series dangerously ignores multiple relevant topics, including the political perspectives behind the issues the series deems that ‘we’—as in the entire human race—are responsible for. 

David Attenborough believes that this series is “a great relief from the political landscape which otherwise dominates our thoughts”. So, instead of addressing politics—which he believes to be a “turn-off” for the viewers—the series shows a human-inflicted destroyed area of nature and continues to blame humanity, without stating how we should change our way of living. The series blames humanity as a whole and keeps repeating that “we” are at fault without clarifying who this “we” is. For example, I wasn’t the cause of the damage of the deep-sea coral (episode 6: The High Seas), it were the deep-sea fishing companies. What the series should have done is to clearly state how political decision-makers should set fishing limits for highly vulnerable deep-sea fish populations in line with scientific advice. And also how I could help to prevent this in the future by, for example, maybe changing my diet at home. In conclusion, the series truly captures the beauties of animals interacting with their habitats, there is no denying that, and it does elevate the concern for climate change in the public to a large extent. On the other hand, the series fails to discuss the politics behind climate change and the role we all have to prevent climate disaster.

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