We have just finished watching the BBC series Human Planet. It takes the nature format that the BBC excels in displaying and turns the camera on people. The whole series was absolutely incredible and both Mike and I were completely blown away by every episode. Focusing on one theme at a time, the series covers: oceans, forests, mountains, deserts, grasslands, rivers, cities and the Arctic and looks at a number of different groups of people who live in each of these environments.
The cinematography is truly breathtaking and I always enjoyed the 10 minute segment at the end of each episode where you are taken ‘behind the lens’ and shown how the team filmed one of the segments. This includes plucking up enough courage to walk up to feeding lions after days of searching for them and rigging cameras across the streaming Mekong, despite the rain providing enormous technical challenges.
The main reason the series was so awe inspiring though, was the people it focused on. Children who travel through the desert for days to find an obscure well, people who build bridges out of living trees and houses that swing in treetops. People who face huge dangers just to find food for themselves and their families – stealing dinner from lions or venturing under the ice in the arctic and into sulfur mines without protection. The stories of these people are inspirational, mind boggling and terrifying. They make us realize just how easy life is here in the western world – issues in the city episode included bed bugs, rats and pigeons. The series has consequently made us more mindful in thinking about where our food has come from and what we need to survive, and hugely grateful for all that we have.
The extended trailer below gives you a brief glimpse into some of the lives of these people but I could not recommend the series highly enough if you have not already seen it.