Human Part 1

This is an analysis/opinion/review of the documentary Human by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. (Part 1)

To capture the nature of a human being seems like a hard thing, to actually bring out everything that defines a human being and to try to understand the nature of a human being is a hard thing to do. The documentary Human by Bertrand shows that there isn’t only one or a definitive trait of a human being. There are many but one thing that defines the nature of anything living is emotions, feelings.

The first minutes of the documentary capture exactly that in a good lighted beauty, the documentary captures feelings, starting with the close up of people who are defined by their feelings through only their faces. Seen in their facial expressions that’s what stays – their feelings. Raw feelings that somehow tell or invite you to figure their experiences, their pain or happiness. Of course, when you think about it, you can actually determine more than that, you get hints at their culture, age, social status and other things but the truth is, that it’s not about that, it’s about Human, just like the title says.

And humans are everywhere and each human experiences things differently, feels differently and lives differently. Raw are also the topics that people talk about but their rawness and their truth scream only one thing “I am human”.

The first part got me through a range of emotions (having looked only at the first part thus far) I felt hopeless, helpless, useless, loved, hated and meaningless (most probably just like the people interviewed for this). The images between the close ups with the music coming from different cultures and in different languages draw attention to the greatness and smallness at the same time of a human being but not of the human force. Humans have shaped and changed the course of time and how we helped or not each other. What some people (if not all) whisper in loud voices from this documentary is “Who has shaped us?”.

It’s not about religion but more of a question of who rules the human kind, who determines the rules of rich and poor, victim or not, hero or zero, educated or not and who says who can survive and who can’t? The answer that seems to be given is somehow empty: another human, who has power, who has money who has all that a (hu)man wants. The whole first part brings arguments and contra arguments that all people go through something and that is because we (or at least I) rank the problems of someone without considering the idea that all might be real and difficult problems.

The question remains none the less, who has decided the faith of human? And if there is only one human why doesn’t that human understand the others and help the others? The end brings a solution to how the human problem of sometimes not acting as a human could be solved “Let’s switch for a minute”.


Raul Mihai Poias


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