Eye-opening imagery

Eye-opening imagery

ECO DAMAGE

Eye-opening imagery

 Chiranjeev Singh, Sudha Murthy and Dominque Causse

Alliance Francaise recently screened the ground-breaking film Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand to a packed auditorium. “In the last 50 years alone,” the movie said, “the Earth has been more radically changed than by all previous generations of humanity.”

The film itself presents a well-argued case for immediate action to be taken to reverse the ecological damage brought on by industrial farming, water shortage, climate change, rising sea-levels and our crippling dependency on fossil fuels. Beautifully shot from the air in a chopper, there are stunning aerial views of the earth’s natural wonders, juxtapositioned with frightening images of polluting factories, airfields and oil platforms.

It’s too late to be a pessimist, says the film-maker, while he holds all of us collectively accountable for the toxic treatment of every single eco-system on the planet.

While one digests the shocking facts and figures, the viewers emotions also see-saw between wonder and disgust, outrage and awe right through the movie, which ultimately ends on a rather tame note after all the high octane imagery and brilliant footage.

The movie highlighted a few initiatives that might save us from self-destruction in 10 years, that scientists say we have left. However, these initiatives seem too inconsequential and ineffective. What are we doing to stem the rot and reverse the damage so that life on our planet survives at least in some of its rich diversity? Costa Rica is making a concerted effort to redirect funds away from military force into education and eco-tourism and Denmark is investing in renewable energy sources. But what about the others?

World Environment Day this year saw the worldwide release of Home, which was billed by producers as “the greatest green event ever” and released in over 100 countries simultaneously.

The screening here in the City was followed by a brief discussion by Girish Karnad and Raman Sukumar. Sudha Murthy, who sat through the film, had to leave and hence could not participate in the discussion which did not throw any new light on the environmental issues the City is facing, besides the standard solutions of using less water and electricity.

Hopefully, Bertrand’s message will reach the people it was mainly intended for in the first place viz politicians and policy makers.

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