Steve's Herpetological Blog

An insight into the life of Steve, his research and the many books he reads

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#SteveReviews: A Life On Our Planet

Despite moving back to Canterbury to find issues with our internet, I’ve been able to watch the new David Attenborough film titled A Life On Our Planet. It’s now available to watch on Netflix after only being available to watch in cinemas for one night only (28th September). A Life On Our Planet is Sir David Attenborough’s witness statement to the ongoing degradation of the natural world caused by human activities. As someone that has been working in wildlife filmmaking for over 60 years, he’s seen a lot of changes occur first-hand although these are also backed up by mountains of peer-reviewed science. I feel that A Life On Our Planet must have been an emotional film to make, it’s the perfect partner for the recently released Extinction: The Facts although both are hard to watch at times.

No one has captivated the minds and the lives of the general public when it comes to the natural world like Sir David. There is going to be a time somewhere in the near future when this great cornerstone of natural history filmmaking steps down, which will be a sad day for us all. In my opinion, A Life On Our Planet is Sir David’s most personal masterpiece to date. It is extremely moving from the moment that you press play with Sir David exploring Pripyat, the city that was abandoned following the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident on the 26th April 1986 – exactly 7 years before I was born. Despite having never visited, it is a location that I instantly recognise (thank you Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare) but it is one that to me is a powerful message on humankind’s impacts on nature and nature’s resilience to bouncing back.

There is urgency in Sir David’s soothing voice, one that carries both a political and personal message. As someone working in conservation, A Life On Our Planet is a stark reminder of why we must keep on fighting. For members of the general public who maybe aren’t engaged with conservation I think that this is going to be a real shock. Unfortunately time is ticking and there are constant reminders throughout the film highlighting the growth in the human population and the damage we’ve caused collectively as a species. Despite all of the doom and gloom, there is some hope towards the end of this 2 hour long film that I hope will spur more people into action. As I’ve said multiple times over the past couple for years, we need as many people fighting the good fight as we can.

If you’ve watched A Life On Our Planet, let me know what you thought in the comments below.

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