STAR RATING: 4.5/5
MUST-WATCH: Terra made me take into account our collective consumption habits, and wonder if any of it could be reset to ensure that we do not further skew the balance of our world, irreversibly.
Nobody wanted to destroy the forest, nobody wanted to go hungry either. Yet, the human race has done a splendid job at it.
Terra, a documentary, is a visual treat with vivid images. It takes you through a non-judgemental journey with beautiful cinematographic wonders of the most breathtaking and important places on Earth.
As the creators take you into unimaginable corners of the Earth through modern technology like drones, the viewer unearths the least explored and most provocative nature and man-made world.
Given the documentary dwells on the relationship between nature and mankind, it takes into account the sensitivity of being non-judgemental about the inevitable truth of this modern day disaster - we have lost our connect with nature. So when the documentary travels to a slaughter house, it highlights how many have come to accept that it is not about killing an animal, instead it is a mere part of our existence, like switching on a light, and that we are not eating it whole, maybe just the ears, or other parts. So, with no direct accusation, many might be weirdly comforted by this. When the voice over speaks about how our wants have outgrown our needs, and a shocking revelation, that in 2015, 60 billion animals were consumed by a population of 7.2 billion humans, it hits hard, makes us introspect.
There are some heart wrenching scenes of animal sacrifices at the Gadhimai Festival in Nepal (which has since been banned), which used to be held every five years. It explores cultures like the great mystical east to modern day western civilisation that have inadvertently lost their shamanic mysticism towards nature, and replaced it by wants and sheer greed. The judgement is on human race and its lack of responsible living.
A nature’s marvel, the Okavango Delta formed by the Okavango River which spawns the flora and fauna is being threatened by human encroachment for agriculture. Organised agriculture needs to source more and more water to cater to more human needs.
The narration is careful in that it makes one acknowledge the continuing estranged relationship between humans and nature.
Masterful, this documentary is also apt as it avoids treading down the path of conspiracies and questionable statistics which most documentaries inevitably fall into a trap of. Watching this documentary makes one realise that every economic and social decision that needs to be taken, has to have an ecological balance that is tantamount to human existence. Our most fundamental need is fresh air, not breathing toxicity, which humans were never supposed to be exposed to. Watch this masterpiece for many reasons - from visual trickery to sensitising us to acknowledge that it is of utmost urgency that we live with peace with what has made us who we are. And conserve it.
The Netflix documentary is in French, with subtitles, and is directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot
— The writer is an IT entrepreneur and avid stream buff.