“Human“, the project of Yann Arthus-Bertrand, alternates interviews with ordinary people from all over the world with aerial images of people in collective actions, or sometimes scenery that is so abstract in design and non biological colors that it looks alien.
The first interview presents a convicted murderer who meditates on learning what love and forgiveness mean. In time, other interviews present what makes humans tick, and some of it is chilling. A couple young men present what makes them want to fight an enemy in a brotherhood (jihad). Others talk about being socialized to sacrifice themselves to overcome common enemies. But as the film progresses, the interviews open up. In the middle section, several gay people speak, starting with a woman who had sex with a man under family pressure and got HIV from heterosexual activity. The religious objection to homosexuality, especially within Islam, is briefly explored. So is immutability.
Then the interviews move back toward a bigger vision of social justice. One speaker (an Aborigine) mentions that earlier cultures did not have words to indicate personal ownership of anything. There is a lot of attention to the enslavement of low-wage workers overseas in quasi-dorm life.
The intervening photography is stunning. One of the first images is of people playing soccer on a mountain plateau. There are mass crowds with human columns and waves. There are odd images of gas and water that look like they come right out of Christopher Nolan (“Interstellar”). There is a shocking scene of manual labor in a mine in Russia. Near the end there is a shocking scene of the slums in Senegal. There are over 60 filming locations. There is an interesting abstract of Manhattan at night with the reflected light manipulated to look like fire.
The music score, by Armand Amar, resembles the music of Philip Glass.
A possible comparison would be “Koyaanisqatsi“, by Godfrey Reggio (1982).
Senegal scene similar to film, Wiki.
|Director, writer:||Yann Arthus-Bertrand|
|When and how viewed:||Filmfest DC, Landmark E St, 2017/4/24, large auditorium, full|
|Length:||143 (full theatrical is 190)|
(Posted: Monday, April 24, 2017 at 11 PM EDT)