Netflix's Violent Wildlife Documentary: Our Planet Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Netflix's Violent Wildlife Documentary: Our Planet Review

Recently, Netflix launched their first nature documentary, attracting both the attention of viewers, and controversy from critics, around the entire world. We take a look at "Our Planet"

David Attenborough’s wildlife documentary “Our Planet” is an eight part impressive experience that will amaze you with stunning shots from around the globe. On the other hand, it will also shock you with many vividly depicted violence scenes. Attenborough, along with the team who also produced the BBC nature series "Planet Earth", have crafted a fusion of pleasure and pain to help make people more aware of the urgent environmental issues and the way people contribute to them.

Ugly beauty
The new documentary gives an insight into the processes our planet Earth has been undergoing over many decades. In other words, "Our Planet" is a chronicle of Earth's life, which could have been called "The Ugly Beauty" for it shows not only the marvelous landscapes but also the reality that is far from those catching shots.

Watching the series, you find out about how ecosystems function and the role of man in all the metamorphoses that have happened to them. “Our Planet” explores the nature of humanity in the context of the changes we witness right now. People consistently trigger the processes that destroy the balanced natural order, but this documentary is not about how evil humanity is concerning Earth though, “Our Planet” is about the undeniable fact - we are in charge of what is happening and should be ready to face the human-made future of Earth.

Two-sided coin
The way the directors have filmed the documentary contribute significantly to the harsh effect it has on the viewers. More precisely, across all eight-parts you see many sequences over and over again. The trick is that the director switches from the dream-like and pleasant-on-the-eye sceneries to the violent and shocking ones.

The first sequences are more related to the way the Earth used to look like some time ago. Thus, as you watch the herd of bison wondering free, you suddenly understand that it is not a case today and these creatures are almost extinct.

“Our Planet” is mostly about the things that are already known to people but are either ignored or underestimated. You would most likely know about Chernobyl and the tragic destinies of the thousands of citizens who lived near in the Ukraine, but have you ever thought about the damage faced by wildlife in this territory? "Our Planet" goes further and offers shots of the revival of the wildlife in Chernobyl that was first destroyed by humans and then abandoned.

While the Chernobyl sequence is depressing, it is also less harsh than others. “Our Planet” blatantly exposes the viewers to continuous deaths and extinctions. Such moments are slightly uncomfortable to watch for sure, and some viewers may not be ready for them. On the official Netflix Twitter account there is a warning post stating which moments you would may like to skip in case if you are too sensitive. “One Planet,” “Frozen World,” “Fresh Water,” “Deserts and Grasslands,” and “High Seas” have all got some tragic sequences, and the Twitter post mentions the exact time frames to skip. Notably, the “Frozen World” episode includes more violent moments than the rest.

Guilty for being honest
The director of the "Frozen Worlds" episode received numerous accusations over one particular scene. The case is the notorious shot of a bunch of walruses falling from a cliff. Many considered the scene controversial and imbued with inappropriate violence. Nevertheless, a comprehensive insight into why it all happens nowadays was given by Netflix.

Every year thousands of walruses spend their summer eating clams revealed by the thaw of warm weather. In the past, after tiring themselves from foraging, walruses would sit on the nearby sea ice to rest up until they were ready to eat again. Now that the sea ice has melted away due to climate change, walruses are forced to swim miles out of their way to find land where they can “haul out” and rest. Unfortunately, the land nearest to their feeding grounds is treacherous, rocky cliffs. When they habitually want to return to the sea to eat, here is where the critical moment arrives. Outside of the water walruses cannot see well and tend to orient in space by smell. Marine mammals sense other walruses and follow them. But as the walruses are not well acquainted with moving on the rocky surface they often fall from the cliff one by one to their death.

Netflix stands up for Attenborough
Netflix has defended the position of both the director of the controversial episode and Sir David Attenborough himself, and actively takes part in conversation around the topic. The scene mentioned above is one of the most controversial and emotional but it is reality. One which you cannot simply ignore anymore. Perhaps it is a desire to show the entire world how people affect the climatic change and damage wildlife that governs Netflix and their decision to broaden out into this genre of documentary making. “Our Planet.” may not be available in some countries; thus, one can use a VPN for Netflix to get the full series.

Humans triggered the process of destruction. The only solution now is to prevent the worsening of the situation and to slow down the consequences. ‘Our Planet” touches the bottom of the soul, moving the remnants of humanity inside of any of us. We are at the point where there can be no excuses, just some well-thought and fast actions. Otherwise, our planet’s wildlife is doomed.

Attenborough mentions that the following two decades are decisive in terms of Earth’s future. It's time to use our brains and take care of our home.

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