World Environment Day tomorrow sees the worldwide release of "the greatest green event ever," as its producers see it - a high-budget documentary from Yann Arthus-Bertrand to save the planet. From New York's Central Park to the Champs de Mars in Paris, the French photographer known for the "Earth From The Air" books and "Seen From The Air" on television, is releasing the green-awareness movie "Home" in more than 100 countries simultaneously.
"More than a movie, 'Home' will be a major event," the producers said. Shot from the air in a helicopter, 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 www.youtube.com/homeproject. "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 said.
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 French luxury consortium PPR headed by Francois-Henri Pinault.