HUMAN, A Film Project About Humanity

A FILM PROJECT

“I am one man among seven billion others. For the past 40 years, I have been photographing our planet and its human diversity, and I have the feeling that humanity is not making any progress. We can’t always manage to live together. Why is that? I didn’t look for an answer in statistics or analysis, but in man himself.”

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

SYNOPSIS

HUMAN is a collection of stories about and images of our world, offering an immersion to the core of what it means to be human. Through these stories full of love and happiness, as well as hatred and violence, HUMAN brings us face to face with the Other, making us reflect on our lives. From stories of everyday experiences to accounts of the most unbelievable lives, these poignant encounters share a rare sincerity and underline who we are – our darker side, but also what is most noble in us, and what is universal. Our Earth is shown at its most sublime through never-before-seen aerial images accompanied by soaring music, resulting in an ode to the beauty of the world, providing a moment to draw breath and for introspection.

HUMAN is a politically engaged work which allows us to embrace the human condition and to reflect on the meaning of our existence.

UNPRECEDENTED SCALE

To create HUMAN, Arthus-Bertrand and his team of 16 journalists interviewed 2,020 people in 60 countries. Each interview consisted of the same 40 questions, covering heavy subjects from religion and family (“When is the last time you said ‘I love you’ to your parents?”) to ambition and failure (“What is the toughest trial you have had to face, and what did you learn from it?”). The questions stemmed from those asked in 7 Billion Others, Arthus-Bertrand’s 2003 project and traveling exhibition that features over 6,000 interviews.

In the film, single-frame interviews are interspersed with the sweeping shots of deserts and mountains that Arthus-Bertrand is known for, against a soundtrack of world music composed by Armand Amar.  Arthus-Bertrand, who points to Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi and Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life as influences, sees the film as a portrayal of the world through three voices: people, landscape, and traditional music. “Getting at the heart of what it means to be a human can be a little heavy,” he says. “The aerial images give you a respite, a moment to reflect on what has been said before.”

One thing HUMAN does not offer is background. The film cuts between interviews and landscapes without an introduction of name or country or language.  Arthus-Bertrand hopes that removing personal identifiers will draw focus to our similarities. “We wanted to concentrate on what we all share,” he explains.  “If you put the name of a person, or what country they’re from, you don’t feel that as strongly.”

Arthus-Bertrand hopes that message will lead those watching HUMAN—whether in the U.N. General Assembly Hall or on a smartphone browser in a rural village in Mali—to seek out meaningful conversations about our responsibilities to each other.  It’s a lofty goal, and one that he believes we should all build our lives around.  “To succeed in your professional life isn’t that hard, but to succeed in your personal life is a lot harder,” says Arthus-Bertrand. “To really be a human is a lot harder.  We forget about that.”

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ONE FILM, 11 VARIATIONS

Since 2012, the crew behind human has been gathering an exceptional range of content. This unique collection of interviews and images is intended to be shared with the widest possible audience.

Drawing on this unrivalled collection of images, Arthus-Bertrand offers us a galaxy of works adapted for all platforms and every type of interaction: cinema, television, the digital space, and major public events.

HUMAN: The Cinematographic Movie (190 mins)

The movie will be in theaters from 12 September in France, and from 22 September will be available for free to local authorities, NGOs, and charities that wish to organize screenings.

A selection of exclusive, hypnotic and contemplative longer testimonies, combined with breathtaking aerial views: that is The Stories of HUMAN, going ever further. Broadcast on french TV France 2.

Excerpts from HUMAN (Website) and The Documentary That Found Humanity by Interviewing 2,000 People -by Charley Locke | WIRED MAGAZINE

HUMAN Extended Version, Volume 2

HUMAN Extended Version, Volume 3

HUMAN Presentation Kit 


Yann Arthus-Bertrand is a photographer and renowned specialist in aerial imagery. He has written several books, including The Earth from the Air, which has been translated into 24 languages and has sold more than three million copies. His 2009 film Home has been viewed by more than 600 million people around the world.  It is the most successful environmental film of the decade. 7 Billion Others, a portrait of humanity today, has so far been seen by 350 million people. 

Yann Arthus-Bertrand is also known for his commitment to the ecological battle. For five years, he hosted the famous show Vu du Ciel which explored environmental issues for the public broadcaster, france télévisions. In 2011, he made the film Planet Ocean with Michaël Pitiot, which took audiences on a unique journey into the very heart of our blue planet.

Since 2005 and the creation of the GoodPlanet Foundation, Arthus-Bertrand has been committed to educating about the environment and the fight against climate change and its consequences. This commitment led to him being named a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program on 22 April 2009. It was the first step on the path that led Arthus-Bertrand to make “HUMAN”.

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