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Earth (2007)

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Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

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Storyline

Feature-length version of the documentary TV series Planet Earth (2006), following the migration paths of four animal families.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Release Date:

22 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La tierra  »

Box Office

Budget:

€30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,825,760 (USA) (24 April 2009)

Gross:

$32,001,863 (USA) (24 July 2009)
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1.85 : 1
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Trivia

This is the first production ever to shoot aerials of the Mt. Everest. Due to the altitude it is not possible to use helicopters and jet planes are too fast to get proper results. Unique access to a Nepalese Army spy plane enabled the production to shoot the first aerials ever. See more »

Connections

Followed by Oceans (2009) See more »

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World
Performed by Anggun
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User Reviews

 
Breathtaking and heartbreaking in its magnificence
30 May 2008 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I've heard nothing but great things about the 2006 television mini-series, "Planet Earth," narrated by my childhood idol David Attenborough. Nevertheless, whether it was screened down here in Australia or not, I never caught up with it, and when I happened upon the opportunity to see 'Earth (2007)' – a feature-length compilation of the same nature footage – on the big screen, I jumped at the chance. The theatre was basically empty; just one other patron sat in the row ahead of me, and it was as though I had, not only the big screen to myself, but, indeed, the entire planet Earth. For 90 minutes, I was lowered into the beauty and perils of the isolated wilderness, amongst some of the most beautiful living creatures ever captured on film. Awesome in its scope, and yet painfully intimate at times, 'Earth' is a heartfelt plea from the filmmakers to recognise the delicate balance of life on our planet, and how the intrusion of humans has placed countless glorious animal and plant species on the brink of extinction.

Though the film, directed by Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield, obviously argues for the conservation of the wilderness, it refrains from beating us over the head with propaganda, and the puzzle that is politics is ignored altogether; indeed, there is not a human in sight. Instead, we are simply taken on a breathtaking journey into the majesty of the natural world, to experience the resilience, and also the fragility, of life on Earth. I hear that the original mini-series, which ran for eleven episodes, delves a lot deeper into the scientific background of world ecosystems, but I think that, here, the filmmakers made a wise decision to replace information with emotional impact: I can't remember the last time that I felt so inspired, and yet utterly heartbroken at the same time. By establishing an emotional link between the audience and a select few individual animals, anthropomorphising them to an extent, we are suddenly able to appreciate the "human side" of each species, and their hopeless plight for survival becomes less a statistic and more an unacceptable tragedy.

'Earth' is basically comprised of a selection of dramatic episodes, whether it be the struggles of a female polar bear to lead her young cubs to the Arctic ice, or the tramp of an elephant herd towards the life-saving seasonal floodwaters of the Okavango Delta. The documentary demonstrates the delicate balance between life and death, most heartbreakingly exhibited in the desperate ballet of predator-prey interactions. Though occasionally, perhaps to cater towards a younger audience, the footage cuts itself short at the crucial moment, I regularly shed at tear at the inevitability of death in nature, and the raw instinct that fuels these animals' final, hopeless efforts at survival. There's even a haunting beauty to be found in the hunt, both in the slow-motion footage of a cheetah bringing down its prey {the result of a single fateful misstep}, or the majestic mid-air leap of a Great White Shark as it engulfs a hapless sea lion. It is this frail balance that has been fatally disrupted by the selfishness of our own species.

Aside from these main stories, we are also treated to brief snippets of wildlife from around the world, including the birds of paradise of Papua New Guinea, and the autumn migration of the demoiselle cranes. Of course, entire films might have been dedicated to these species alone, and an inevitable consequence of having to sift through so much footage is that some interesting ecosystems are glossed over far took quickly. By choosing to focus most closely on the polar bear, elephant and humpback whale – tracing their lifestyles, via some astonishing high-definition time-lapse photography, throughout a calender year – the filmmakers were able to avoid any structural problems that might arise from having so much to show, and only 90 minutes to show it. Consequently, 'Earth' left me thirsting for more, and, fortunately, I now have approximately eleven hours more, as soon as I can track down a copy of the DVD box-set for "Planet Earth." Uplifting and tear-jerking, awe-inspiring and heartrending, 'Earth' is a truly magnificent documentary experience, and it might just be my favourite film of 2007.


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