Monday, April 12, 2021

The Year Earth Changed Review: A Stunning Look At This Past Year

Release date: April 16, 2021
Running time: 49 minutes
Narrator: David Attenborough
Director: Tom Beard
Executive Producers: Mike Gunton and Alice Keens-Soper

Showcasing footage from around the world after an unprecedented year, “The Year Earth Changed” is a timely documentary special that takes a fresh new approach to the global lockdown and the uplifting stories that have come out of it. From hearing birdsong in deserted cities and seeing whales in Glacier Bay, to meeting capybara in suburbs across South America, people worldwide have had the chance to engage with nature like never before. In this documentary special, viewers will witness how the smallest changes in human behavior – reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist – can have a profound impact on nature. The documentary, narrated by David Attenborough, is a love letter to planet Earth, highlighting the ways nature’s resiliency and ability to bounce back can give us hope for the future.

If you are a fan of the Planet Earth series or any of the nature focused spin offs, then you will love this movie.  It is a similar style to those features, with the film moving around to various locales to showcase nature with beautiful cinematography and interesting stories.  However, whereas those previous films usually focused on a type of land or region of the world, The Year Earth Changed focuses on the effect that a worldwide lockdown has had on the Earth and its animal inhabitants.  And the short answer is that it has had a dramatic effect.

The film goes to various regions of the world to see the profound impact that this year has had.  And it is extremely eerie to see some of these changes.  Seeing cities that are normally bustling stand empty, and seeing animals return to areas that they would never go a year ago was fascinating.  I love that this film was made and that is has chronicled this bizarre period in our human history.  The changes to the cities and surrounding natural settings are amazing to see, and to see them in this quality is truly a treat.  

But the film doesn't just chronicle the changes.  It also looks at how some humans are studying and adapting to these changes to try and make lasting impacts on the Earth and the health of its inhabitants.  Seeing the changes in the last year is an amazing sight, but trying to learn from and prolong the natural transformation is an important goal going forward.  This year has shown that even one year of reduced human effect on the planet can have a profound impact; if we can harness those lessons and adapt them to our society, then perhaps we can make lasting positive changes to our planet.

The Year Earth Changed chronicles this strange year and the profound effect that it has had on the planet, with amazing and eerie images of this dramatic natural transformation.

Watch it.

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The Year Earth Changed is available to stream on Apple TV+ starting April 16, 2021.

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