A Beautiful PlanetCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Showing the next generation how beautiful our Earth is so that they do everything in their power to preserve it was Toni Myers ambition when she began to work on A Beautiful Planet. An ambition that was surely fulfilled in this enterprising 45-minute documentary, which shows not only the next generation, but everyone, how precious our world is.
Somewhere between a sightseeing tour of Earth and a sombre documentary on how we pollute it, A Beautiful Planet follows the missions of astronauts who arrive at the International Space Station. Not only do viewers get an insight on their challenging every day lives, but they are also allowed to glimpse at the spectacle of space. Slowly, the journey around Earth begins (narrated by Jennifer Lawrence), over America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The imagery is simply stunning and fully justifies the title of the film. Myers stresses the fact that no CGI has been used (apart from 25 seconds when a possible Mars-like future is demonstrated). “There is no need for CGI to tell a story,” Myers says, “the dramatics of reality are enough.”
The documentary not only gives an account of the astronauts, it is also filmed by them in their spare time, in order not to interfere with their mission. Even though they only receive short training on how to handle the equipment, the result is astounding considering the dangerous reality they face when they, for example, film themselves floating around the outside of the Space Station, only supported by a security rope.
Myers has come a long way since Space Station 3D in 2002. Cosmic radiation had made it almost impossible to translate what astronauts see, yet new technology has finally made it possible. For Myers, it is important that what the audience sees is “real”, both the footage and the plot, and A Beautiful Planet does indeed feel like an authentic documentary that also raises questions of greater importance, such as borders, pollution and collaboration between humans. As one of the astronauts brings up, how is it possible that 16 countries could have come together to build the International Space Station with absolute readiness yet on Earth such a collaboration borders on sheer impossibility.
A Beautiful Planet is released nationwide on 27th May 2016.
Watch the trailer for A Beautiful Planet here: