Hot Docs 2015: Planetary – Guy Reid


Yesterday morning, I sat down and watched perhaps the singularly most important film that is screening at Hot Docs this year, and if you’re not in Toronto, you can track down this film online, as it was released internationally on Earth Day.

Over the past century, man has advanced and for the first time, he left the confines of his tiny planet. Looking back, at where’d we come from, man for the first time redefined his concept of home. It was no longer a house, or a hut, or a building on a street, or a city, or a country. For the first time we saw ourselves unified as a species, we all shared the same home, Earth.

Now, as we move into the 21st century, we, as a species stand on the brink of an ecological disaster, as our own greed and worship of materialism has pushed us so far out of touch with nature that we think we’re above it, better than it, and not part of it.

Beautifully shot, some of the high-definition is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, with glimpses of amazing places, and stunning looks at our little blue globe, and as such it contains the seeds of our hope, that we can find our way towards a paradigm shift, that we can find a balance between man, technology and nature.

Against the backdrop of our fragile world, Reid lets philosophers, scientists, astronauts, artists, and religious leaders share views, facts and possibilities of where we are as a species, and where we may be headed, as we deal with these troubling pubescent years of humanity.

Where are we going? Who are we? Will we as a species survive the trials we have brought on ourselves?

These are questions that some people aren’t ready or willing to face, but there is a change coming through others. Will it be enough, will it be in time?

All of these questions are posed in various ways, some of them even unspoken, but as we see our jewel of a planet rising over the curve of the moon, one cannot help but think, and imagine with all the things we’ve achieved, then perhaps we can save ourselves, and our planet.

This film moved me to tears more than once with its sheer beauty and its revelations of terrible things, and its possibility of hope.

This is a film that needs to be seen and shared, and like the best documentaries, educate and create a dialogue.

If you’re at the festival, this one screens twice more, Thursday 30 April at the Kingsway Theatre at 6;30pm and Sunday 3 May at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema at 1;15pm. If you’re not in town, you can watch this one on Vimeo on Demand.


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