This Documentary Will Make You Want to Save the Planet ASAP

Catch it on Netflix.

( Nowadays, it seems impossible to still have people unaware that our planet needs some saving—unless you firmly believe that climate change is not real. Environmental campaigns come in every available format possible: A global event like the Earth Hour, social media, sustainability conferences, and so on. Now, Netflix is joining the cause as the media-service provider launches Our Planet, an eight-part documentary series that tells the story of—well, our planet. It is narrated by respected natural historian David Attenborough. Streaming starts today, April 5.

Our Planet is not your typical environmental documentary piece. Yes, you’ll see wide shots of herds of gazelles galloping on expansive lands, a close-up on an orangutan foraging for food, and a jaw-dropping scene of a predator preparing to attack its prey—all told through Attenborough’s calm and engaging voice. But after every episode that parades the unparalleled beauty that Earth has (plus interesting relationships between different species of plants and animals), it goes on to make us realize that we’re losing these natural wonders at an incredibly alarming rate. It’s like a movie where you root for the protagonist and break your heart when you eventually see him fall. In this case, for example, it’s a young Philippine eagle learning how to fly and finally spreading its wings. As soon as you see it take off from its nest, you see a wide shot of the forest it calls it home, which turns out to be partially destroyed by illegal logging and mining. Unfortunately, this isn’t fiction and the only way to save our protagonist is if we start caring for our planet as soon as possible.


"A lot of people still don’t really understand the state that our planet is in right now," Kim Stengert from the World Widelife Fund – Singapore reveals to the press on April 5. Our Planet tries to change that by letting viewers take a step back, look at the planet in a larger perspective, and see how a negative impact on the smallest creatures can affect the rest of us.

It’s also crucial that this documentary is released through Netflix, where it can "be accessible to people forever," Jessica Lee Wai Ling from Netflix points out. "It is not just about ‘tell me the script, what’s going to happen," she narrates about how director Adam Chapman pitched the project four years ago. "It is about a passion, the commitment, it is about inspiration, and fourth thing is action."

Production took a total of four years—three years of filming and a year of editing, and you can see why when you watch it. In one of the episodes, there’s a scene where 75 million tons of ice break off from a massive glacier and fall into the chilly water. Turns out, the whole production team waited for three weeks in Greenland and camped in front of calving glaciers—only to see something worth filming (and incredibly eye-opening) on their last day.

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"If we act now, we have a really good chance that by 2030, we’ll get to a better place," Stengert says with hope. This time, Netflix and (not) chill is a good way to start.

Our Planet is now streaming on Netflix.

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