HUMAN- a film review

Twenty of the 2000 people interviewed. Photo

Twenty of the 2000 people interviewed. Photo

This week we want to give you a film tip, namely the documentary “Human”. It was directed by the French journalist and environmentalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand over a period of three years and premiered in the General Assembly Hall of the UN in 2015.

Yann and his team interviewed over 2000 people in 60 countries worldwide asking the same 40 questions. The documentary presents some of the interviewed in a simple way, the person interviewed sits on a chair with a black background speaking to the person behind the camera. This alternates with incredible footages over nature and human encounters such as a Mongolian little girl riding on a horseback over green mountains or a crowded football game. It shows you such an amazing energy between nature and the human being, a relationship that too often is forgotten. It is easy to tell that the director has a history of nature documentaries.

The most interesting part is the many people interviewed, there is a Massai from Kenya, a republican from California, a girl living on the street in Mexico City etc. etc and it occurred to me the many interpreters that must have been engaged in the making of this. I would not have been able to tell that the people featured were asked the same questions. The answers presented are beautiful, funny and sad. They are about love, religion, sex, homosexuality, politics and many more topics. What is presented is how similar we all are in what we want in life but also the many differences that exist, both the good and the bad. Differences are often presented as something negative and people tend to point at our similarities, which obviously is good, the main things we want in life is love, security, food, education, i.e. a safe world for our children, but our differences are also beautiful. The many cultural differences that exist; the answer to why so many people love to travel. The many different tribes, languages, looks etc that exist, this is amazing, we are all human, so similar but still so different due to where we are born and how we are raised


I am poor, I will now define poverty. What is poverty to me? It’s when I have to go to school but can not go. When I need to eat, but I can not. When I need to sleep but I can not. When my wife and children suffer. I do not have the intellectual level needed to get out of this situation, neither I nor my family. I feel really poor in body and mind. And you rich, who are listening to me, what you have to say about their wealth?”

-A man from Haiti gives his description of poverty

It is a long documentary, 3 hours so I would recommend you to watch it in parts, you can find it on youtube in three parts here


The making of a human pyramid featured in the film

The documentary did leave me crying, many life stories are tough, many of the people interviewed struggle with poverty or injustices. But it reminded me once again that my life standard is not the worldwide norm. A Statistic that resonates with me and that I keep coming back to is the well-known “If the world was a village of hundred people” find it here
Being able to go to a good public school, access to high quality public health, being able to travel a few times per year and having been raised in a family where I received love and support and in a country where I can choose to love whoever I want is not the norm. I wish it was but in 2016 it’s not.

It is not a sad film, however, it leaves a strong impression, and during the three hours you will laugh and cry. What we have to do is to continue to fight for a different norm worldwide and appreciate and learn from our differences, this is what both my dad and me felt after having watched the whole documentary.

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