David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet – Review

His voice for nature documentaries, and documentary series, is famous. His passion for preserving the wild and helping us understand the natural ecosystems of our planet is boundless. This time around, Sir David Attenborough presents us with his most personal, almost video essay, documentary.

At the time of its recording David Attenborough was 93 years old. He knows his time is short and has stated in the documentary that this is his personal witness statement. It’s quite sobering to see a man that was priviledged enough to travel the world, meet isolated cultures, and teach generations of people about our planet is still trying to get his voice heard when it comes to what counts. Which in this case is the accelerated decline of our planet.

Sir David Attenborough maps specific points in his life that made him who he is today while comparing that information with how the world was. For instance, he talks about the 1950s being a big starting point for him when it came to traveling the world. The documentary notes the human population and how much wildlife is left on Earth. Each time he talks about his life throughout the film this statistic shows the population of humans going up just as rapidly as the percent of wildlife left on Earth goes down.

At one point the documentary shows what the Earth will look like in 100 years if we do not start changing our habits, and it is bleak. Whether you’re already for plant based diets, and anti-deforestation, what will happen in our lifetime that is projected by scientists is morbidly sobering. Sir Attenborough does not mince words. He is not wasting any of his breath as he elaborates on what parts of our planet works for our benefit, and how we are destroying it for not even sustainable energy.

Though not all is lost. While the depressing facts about what can happen within our near futures are stated plainly, so are the hopeful suggestions of what we can do now to prevent this snowballing catastrophe that could start a mass extinction. Sir Attenborough ends this incredible testament by talking about what we can do, and gives examples of what countries have started doing this to their benefit.

While this documentary may be a brisk 83 minutes it is heavy with content. It connects the entire world and how we all need to work together in order to save the one place we live. This is Sir David Attenborough’s testament, and his wish upon all of us to join together to save tomorrow. If nothing else, this may be one of the most important documentaries of this year that we all need to watch, share, and start changing the world to fulfill a kind old man’s wish.

5/5

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