Posted by: Robert Janssen | October 25, 2010

“Home” (2009)

The documentary chronicles the present day state of the Earth, its climate and how we as the dominant species have long-term repercussions on its future. A theme expressed throughout the documentary is that of linkage—how all organisms and the Earth are linked in a “delicate but crucial” natural balance with each other, and how no organism can be self-sufficient.

The first 15 minutes include footage of the beginning of the natural world, starting with single-celled algae developing at the edges of volcanic springs. By showing algae’s essential role in the evolution of photosynthesis, it also explores the innumerable species of plants which all have their origins in this one-celled life form.

In the rest of the first hour of the film, the documentary takes on a more human-oriented focus, showing the agricultural revolution and its impacts, before moving on to talk about the harnessing of oil, leading to fire, industry, cities and inequality gaps like never before. It portrays the current predicament regarding cattle ranches, deforestation, food and water shortages, the use of non-renewable “fossil water”, the over-quarrying crisis and the shortage of energy, namely electricity. Cities such as New York City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Shenzhen, Mumbai, Tokyo and Dubai are used as examples of the mismanagement and wastage of energy, water and food. The recession of marshlands and glaciers are shown in vast aerial shots of Antarctica, The North Pole and Africa, while mass emigration and refugee counts are shown currently and forecast in the event that these events remains unchanged.

It is at this point that the film begins to focus on global warming and the carbon crisis. Home shows how melting glaciers, rising sea levels and changing weather patterns are ravaging the people who have least to do with climate change, but also how it soon will affect rich populous areas.

Here, about three minutes of film is given to displaying harsh facts in large white text on a black background followed by a video representation of the fact. This is followed by a positive conclusion. The documentary claims to show the “awful truths” regarding our impact on the Earth, but also what we are now doing to combat and reverse it: including renewable energy, the creation of more and more national parks, international co-operation between various nations on environmental issues and the extra education and reform being had across the globe in response to the current problems facing the earth.

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