Why BBC’s The Green Planet is David Attenborough’s most important documentary ever

Ten years ago a new David Attenborough BBC documentary was an indulgent treat.

Attenborough’s vast back catalog dates back to 1951 when he was the producer of a documentary about the rediscovery of prehistoric coelacanths.

And since then, their programs have continued to look spectacular and spectacular in the natural world through the magic of television (and of course, through the magic of extremely skilled and patient production crews—who receive large volumes of documentaries dedicated to the right way). are how they do what they do).

From the frozen planet to Africa; From the Blue Planet to Life; We marveled and enjoyed. But the climate is changing and it is no longer just for fun.

Actually, it hasn’t been just for fun for quite some time. Green Planet is all about plants so what better place to start episode one than in the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica and Borneo.

First, naturally, we are shown beauty. Attenborough takes us through some of the completely indescribable and incredible intricacies of the plant life that exists in these places.

A tree dies in the forest and falls to the ground so that for the first time, perhaps in 100 years, parts of the forest floor will receive little sunlight.

Time-lapse cameras show how new shoots, lying dormant just waiting for a chance, suddenly burst through the earth and began to race to the canopy.

Vines pull out tendrils to wrap around large monstera leaves before they can crumble as each plant competes for light and a spot in the forest. Magnificent balsa trees are covered with short hairs to remove the thorns of the vines.

The plant produces flowers that last only a day, which fill and refill with nectar to attract kinkajas that drink profusely from the cup.

The “corpse flower” opens to trap carrion flies. And millions of leaf-cutter ants work tirelessly to bring the leaves home to a benevolent fungus. (Ants, babe. We’ve all been there.)

Sir David thinks there has been a worldwide “awakening” of the importance of the natural world, and that his upcoming series will “bring it home” to people.

As is the case with all Attenborough’s natural world documentaries, The Green Planet is utterly stunning and feels like important and necessary viewing for the world.

But essentially, and after only 20 minutes, we are shown how mankind’s discovery has affected the rainforests.

Vast areas of the world’s rainforests have been cleared (and are still being done) suitable for a purpose, to enable logging, agriculture, animal husbandry, mining, oil-extraction and dam-building. and has been planted with rearranged trees to destroy the variety.

What is happening in these places is a global emergency and we know the damage will be irreversible.

Attenborough tells us that 70% of all the world’s rainforests now grow within just one mile of a road.

But then he shows us how forests can be replanted and how a place he visited 30 years ago that was previously destroyed, deforested and now once again The team is made with life.

At the COP26 climate summit in November 2021, Attenborough received a standing ovation for his speech, in which he said the fate of future generations should encourage delegates to “rewrite our story.”

As a bat flutters in front of him, he blinks from ear to ear and is delighted to see his sheer childish delight and enthusiasm for the natural world shine through The Green Planet as much as the one created by him. Happens in any movie.

David Attenborough is 95 years old. How many more documentaries will he make about the natural world?

But perhaps more importantly, have we finally noticed that he is not making these movies just for fun?