Thursday, June 04, 2009

Calling Earth from the Air: world release of green movie 'Home'

PARIS (AFP) – World Environment Day on Friday sees the worldwide release of a movie billed by producers as "the greatest green event ever", a high-budget documentary to save the planet from Yann Arthus-Bertrand. From New York's Central Park to the Champs de Mars by Paris' Eiffel Tower, the French photographer known for the "Earth From The Air" books and "Seen From The Air" on TV, is releasing the green-awareness movie "Home" in over 100 countries simultaneously. "More than a movie, Home will be a major event," the producers said. Shot from the air in a chopper, the environmental documentary will be available across the globe June 5, mostly free of charge, in open-air spaces as well as theatres, TV, DVD, and the Internet at "The idea is to explain what's happening to the planet by beginning at the beginning, by the miracle of life on earth," the photographer-director told AFP. Kicking off with stunning aerial views of the earth's natural wonders before focusing from the air on polluting factories, airfields and oil platforms, the message translated into more than a score of languages is: "It's too late to be a pessimist." "Although there's a general trend towards an awareness of ecological issues, concrete action is still too little, too slow," he says. "In 200,000 years on earth," adds the film, "humanity has upset the balance of the planet. Humanity has barely 10 years to reverse the trend. The commentary, narrated by Glenn Close in English and Salma Hayek in Spanish, was submitted for editing to 2007 Nobel-prizewinner Al Gore and Lester Brown, the US environmental guru. It took almost three years to finalise the mega-movie, shot over 217 days in 54 countries, providing 488 hours of footage. "We have the power to change so what are we waiting for?" it asks. French movie mogul Luc Besson is distributing the 10-million-euro movie, a huge sum for a documentary put up by the luxury consortium PPR headed by Francois Henri Pinault. "The massive and free distribution of the film will enable anyone, anywhere, to see it, whatever their income," Pinault said. Speaking to AFP, Arthus-Bertrand said it was time to call a halt to a world where 20 percent of the population consumed 80 percent of the planet's riches. "I explain what is happening, I don't offer solutions," he said. "But we all have solutions within ourselves." "We would live better by consuming less and sharing more, and we need more courageous policies". "The idea is to convince people to push politicians to action."

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