“Planetary” Reminds Us That to Save Life on This Planet, Humans Will Need to Get Over Themselves

Ever since humans blasted into outer space and started snapping photos of Earth, we’ve been able to get a different perspective of our place in the universe. Instead of being bound by the artificial lines that separate countries on a map, we can now see ourselves as inhabitants of a large, seamless, and yet finite planet.

Despite this expanded frame of reference, we continue to behave destructively toward our shared home, tearing it—and one another—down through war and resource grabs. The creators of Planetary, a visually stunning documentary, want to “interrupt that worldview” by reminding us that we are in this together.

Director Guy Reid couples breathtaking footage from around the globe (and beyond) with interviews with philosophers, astronauts, environmentalists, cosmologists, and activists. Their backgrounds may be diverse, but they all seem to agree on a central point:

“It is the delusion of a separate self,” says Tibetan lama Anam Thubten, that may prove to be humankind’s greatest flaw.


Featuring Wade Davis

As some 170 world leaders convene in Paris to collaborate on a plan to stave off the most harmful consequences of climate change, watch this film, now available for rent on Vimeo, and think about your relationships with your neighbors, all of them, and your responsibility to this rock—this iridescent blue ball teeming with life, shuttling through an endless, star-studded universe. It’s the only one we’ve got.

This post first appeared in OnEarth.
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