Have made no secret of being a big fan of David Attenborough, ever since watching 'Planet Earth' and 'The Blue Planet'. Which even as a teenager fascinated and enchanted me, seeing more of his work since, gaining more knowledge and getting more and more out of those two series on more than one re-watch my high appreciation already had for him is even stronger. His filmography has been extensive and remarkably consistent in its high quality, something that can be quite rare in the filmographies of presenters/actors/directors.
'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' is one of his more personal endeavours and is every bit as fascinating and well done as his more typical work. It is very personal and autobiographical and can be seen as a series of clips/footage in structure, something can feel lazy if not executed correctly like in cartoons with stringing along existing recycled footage but executed coherently and naturally, so very well, here. Anybody wanting a documentary where one encounters wildlife portrayed as individual compellingly real characters without being over-humanised, footage of them living, adapting to beautiful yet sometimes harsh environments and their difficulties with adversity, all of this unfolded like remarkably relatable individual stories, has footage that one is amazed what happens is caught on film may be slightly disappointed, and this is in comparison to his other work, but that is not to say that 'Attenborough: 60 Years in the Wild' is devoid of that. All three episodes/films are fascinating and it was nice to have a different approach. Loved its affectionate and nostalgic feel.
Just to make things clear, all three of the films part of the series are also listed as episodes of 'Nature' (individual episodes when available also sporadically being reviewed), in case anybody is wondering about the reiteration, being fed up with the review abuse happening on and off for a while.
That can be seen in this third and final film "Our Fragile Planet". With its focus on the environment and how increasingly fragile it's become over the years, did honestly find myself thinking that it would be my least favourite of the three. Actually, "Our Fragile Planet" was very informative and really made me think. It's not as good, quite, as the previous film "Understanding the Natural World", which is my personal favourite of the three, but slightly prefer it over the still very good "Life on Camera" with the earlier footage here holding up slightly better. Even if it does still show its age somewhat, some grain and crudeness here and there.
"Our Fragile Planet" maintains the personal approach of "Life on Camera" and "Understanding the Natural World" without feeling stale, and handles a very important and relevant subject that was topical back 60 years ago or so and has gotten more so over-time, something that has always needed to be addressed and isn't done so enough, with force but also tact. There was always the danger of anything detailing the damage the natural world has suffered by humans which became more severe over-time being preachy, personally didn't think that was the case here though some are going to disagree. It was good that it was acknowledged that our attitudes now are different now than in the 50s and that knowledge is less limited now now that more awareness is raised.
At the same there was something poignant here too, realising that some animals and such face extinction. It was interesting to see all the environmental changes, the influence of important conservationalists and hear the reflections on attitudes on nature and how whether it would change. Loved the bit with the turtle eggs. Found what is said about them incredibly informative, with no signs of over-speculation and there is an admirable ability to both entertain and educate, done in a balanced and expertly way. The anecdotes are both amusing and charming.
Like what has been said before, it was wonderful to see Attenborough looking back on his career with clear great affection and intriguing to see how much his career and technology progressed over the years/decades, he has always been consistent in terms of the high quality of his work and how he delivers it and these qualities grew from strength to strength the more experienced he became. What makes "Our Fragile Planet" particularly worth watching is Attenborough himself, he has always been an amazing presenter/narrator and his enthusiasm is so infectious, as is his never cold sincerity, inspirational candour and one of the most instantly recognisable voices ever to exist. Could not get enough of his anecdotes.
Summarising, great. 9/10
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