On September 28, 2020 a new documentary from Sir David Attenborough, A Life on our Planet will premiere for one night only in select movie theaters in Australia, New Zealand, UK, the Netherlands, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland and later will be released to all major theatres in those countries as well as Netflix.
Sir Michael Palin from Monty Python fame also appears in a scene with a conversation about the problems our planet faces at the end of the film but Palin will only be seen in the theatrical versions.
The documentary explores the effect humanity has had on the planet and according to wwf.org, the executive producer, Colin Butfield of the World Wide Fund for Nature, remarked “For decades, David has brought the natural world to the homes of audiences worldwide, but there has never been a more significant moment for him to share his own story and reflections.
This film coincides with a monumental year for environmental action as world leaders make critical decisions on nature and climate. It sends a powerful message from the most inspiring and celebrated naturalist of our time.” Silverback Films was a partner in the huge undertaking with directors Alastair Fothergill, Jonnie Hughes and Keith Scholey.
The previews of the film, which can be seen at Attenborough Films, show remarkable scenes of wildlife, photos from Attenborough’s over six decades of nature conservation and some not so pleasant pictures and video of ways we are destroying the planet.
In the film Attenborough encourages vegetarianism due to the environmental costs of meat and dairy farms. Bovine burps and flatulence, to a lesser degree, release an amazing amount of methane into the air. Phys.org tells us cattle burps are the second largest source of methane in the United States and methane is responsible for twenty five percent of manmade climate change.
The burps produce ninety five percent of the methane release rather than the more popular story that flatulence is responsible. Combine all of the herds of cattle being raised all over the world and that’s a substantial amount of pollution. In the trailer Attenborough says the documentary is his “witness statement” and his “vision of the future”.
Attenborough certainly has the credentials to serve as a witness to the earth’s decline. According to britannica.com, in his ninety four years he has served as an English writer, broadcaster and naturalist and the maker of a number of nature films such as Zoo Quest, Jacob Bronowski’s The Ascent of Man and Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation.
As well as Life on Earth (1979), The Living Planet (1984), The Life of Birds (1998), Life in the Undergrowth (2005), and Life in Cold Blood (2008) among others. His other television credits included The Blue Planet (2001), State of the Planet (2000), Are We Changing Planet Earth? (2006) and Climate Change—The Facts (2019).
He also received an Emmy award for narrating Blue Planet II. He has received awards from BAFTA and the Peabody Award which honors the most powerful, enlightening, and invigorating stories in television, radio, and online media in 2014.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1985. He became a television producer for the BBC in 1952 and spent almost twenty years adding more nature educational programming as well as promoting Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In 1972 he resigned from the BBC in order to produce nature based programming on a freelance basis.
In the documentary Attenborough, himself, comments on the extraordinary life he has lived and how his advanced age reveals to him just how fortunate he has been.
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Attenborough holds thirty two honorary degrees as well as his earned degrees. He has been to every continent on earth and he has more than ten plants and animals named after him as well as the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the United Kingdom’s new polar research vessel.