2015 ,    »  -   24 Comments
Ratings: 9.10/10 from 288 users.

An epic document of the struggles and triumphs that unite us all, HUMAN takes viewers on a journey across the globe to uncover the essential truths about what it means to be human. Through a series of more than 2000 interviews conducted throughout 60 countries, director Yann Arthus-Bertrand successfully expresses the collective human experience in all its forms - from deeply personal and wounding stories of poverty, domestic abuse and anguish to tales of love, joy and the euphoria of being alive.

One such subject is love, a phenomenon which has driven and defined the human experience since the beginning of time. "Love is what fills the soul," claims one female subject of the film. "My husband has two wives," confesses another. You witness some subjects as they beam with tear-filled eyes at the love that fills their lives with meaning. Others offer that love must exist in concert with sex in order to thrive, while one elderly gentleman confesses that he gave up on his search to find a lover long ago, and has yet to take one even at his advanced age. Human sexuality is celebrated and explored in all its diversity, and acknowledged as an extension of our basic and universal need to connect. "It's not the gender of the person I love that defines me," one subject states profoundly. "It’s the quality of my loving that defines who I am."

Arthus-Bertrand remains an unobtrusive presence during the film. He simply creates a safe and welcoming environment where his camera can capture a range of honest reactions to oftentimes challenging and profoundly intimate topics. As a result, viewers come to realize that the need to share and to be understood serves as another essential uniting trait of our species. Many of his subjects are stark contrasts from one another either geographically, economically or socially, but the film allows us to recognize their similarities and celebrate their differences. In the process, viewers may catch glimpses of themselves in each of them.

In a time when bitter conflict seems to dominate every corner of the globe, HUMAN is a refreshing reminder of the bonds that connect us all.

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24 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jake bosch

    What a contrast, the beauty of creation and the suffering of loss. The book of Jeremiah in living colour. The words of Isaiah astonishingly clear. There is a crack in everything that's how the light gets in. Through the tears and the stories. I know better why the writings of Ecclesiastes are in scripture. It is the pounding voice of empire in the face of human kind " nothing new under the sun ". Except to remember a still smal voice - death is over come and there is still a sacred place to weep.

  2. Jake bosch

    That needs an explanation. The ends and the means. We are a culture of means and the means have become the end. Empire is a means and it has become an end in itself. Love is not the bridge here it is the renewal of mind. Sentimentality is a distraction and a safe place for the subjects of the empire to land. It cannot help it self it all buried in the seeds of means. Religion is a fibre that holds it all together and disguises the truth that there is a doxology. To many false prophets and magic preaching a means without the attitude of a good creation. But that how the light gets in. That's how the light gets in. The camera appears to be from the perspective of a holy God that is free listening to the lamentation of a people with out the freedom to choose. Means get all the press time it is time to weep like the exodus. Or by the rivers of Babylon. God may hear and answer. Do we know we are slaves to the empire of means that is more than putting bread on the table?

  3. Marian

    Astounding sceneries of nature, people's hardships as they are working in harsh environments at hardest jobs, just to make some money to eat. The director did a wonderful job, I cannot even imagine the scope of work that it takes to travel to these areas, capture images that have such staying and impacting power for the viewers' mind. I still have to finish watching it and I know I will take in some wisdom from it. Thank you to the whole crew for doing such excellent work. I, on the other hand, probably need to fall to my knees and thank the Almighty that I have love and steadiness in my life, for which so many millions of deserving people in the world are clamoring but cannot achieve. May their prayers be heard and plight for human dignity and happiness be given to them. Thank you again, I really enjoy this film.

  4. Leigh

    This film leaves me wondering about my place in the world. It is good to be reminded of the interconnectedness of all people. I appreciate the selection of topics in the film (love, relationships, work, poverty...) and the directness of people speaking for themselves, from their own experiences. I can only imagine how many insightful comments were cut, in the process of selecting the stories presented here. Well done.

  5. Angel

    Beautiful and touching, unique in its genre. It left me with so many emotions: sympathy, empathy, joy, sadness, appreciation, and lastly-love and hope for humanity. The title pretty much explains it's about all the things we encounter in life, how different people go through their own hardships and how different people have different view of what life is about, what makes them happy, what love and hate means to them. I recommend this documentary to all as describing it simply can't be put into words.
    Thank you to all involved in production of this film! It must have taken an enormous amount of time and energy. I cannot even imagine how hard the whole process was but I'm sure it was all worth it at the end. This film is a masterpiece documentary of it's time!

  6. mohammad suleman

    I was over whelmed by the presentation of human emotions so naturally and powerfully in this documentary that I cried myself at several places. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Thank you many times.

  7. Nick Cockayne


  8. James

    I cried right through the whole experience. Life changing journey through the world I thought i knew.

  9. Malcolm

    This is a preliminary comment. I am now approaching 75 years of age, and life in my opinion is a truly extraordinary, though perplexing journey to engage. And engage it we must, for we had no choice to begin with; we were just BORN and we had no say in that. Many philisophers, religious academics, and scientists toy with the notion of the so called HUMAN condition. And what a condition it is, torn between belief in a creator God and the alternative notion that there may well be no God at all. We are tossed about by so much suffering, chaos, wealth and poverty. So many lives wasted, and so many lives full and insufferably greedy. And so many twisted lives, with nothing but hatred in their hearts and violence on their minds. Yes I know about Jesus, the annointed, suffering servant of humankind. Does unconditional love, really hold the key to the alleviation of suffering and inequality? And is God really mindful of us? Science has pushed the boundaries of our knowledge, but still we have no idea (in truth) of where we've come from, nor of where we're headed!

  10. Starlina Jackson

    I thought this was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time. It was so very interesting to see how people live, think and exist in other countries along with their struggle for survival daily. It makes me feel very blessed.

  11. Malcolm

    The second volume of this video, is as emotionally raw, and as confronting as the first volume. People tell their stories with a conviction and a passion that will resonate with anyone who has engaged life as they have. I was moved as others have been; for all of us share similar journeys of discovery about ourselves and of the wondrous, yet alarmingly tragic world we live in. And we all face, the inevitable reality that our own personal journey will sooner or later, come to an end. Two thoughts struck me after I finished the second volume, firstly Jesus’ words that we should “love one another as He has loved us” and secondly, God’s commandment that “Thou shall NOT kill”. There are forces abroad in this world that are certainly stifling humanity and corrupting it. And yet, there are incredibly good people around, who uphold the values humanity needs to survive, and to live life to the full. And many of these are people do not necessarily, live by the Bible or the Koran nor any other religious text. They are simply innately good people with extraordinarily kind and loving hearts, who comprehend the folly that abounds to destroy the very heart of our humanity and our dignity.

  12. Malcolm

    The third volume of this doco, portrays many more of the diabolical complications and the dilemmas that the human condition has contracted and even then, that only scratches the surface. Stories of cruelty, corruption, fear, societal instability and terror. We are conscious beings, and well aware of the problems that have been forced upon us by others, as well as our own self-inflicted problems. One man summed his lot up very well, saying it was unacceptable to see how closely the affluence of the few, is tied to the misery of the many; adding that the fastest growing sector in his country, is not software or IT, it is inequality.

    Our human intellect has enabled our scientists to create the Hubble telescope, which opened an astounding view right across the Universe; and left us all utterly dumb founded. In his doco “The Pale Blue Dot”, Dr Carl Sagan eloquently spelt out our position in the depths of the cosmos; “In all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from "elsewhere" to save us from ourselves.” It is difficult for us, to cope with that concept and the sheer terrifying scale of just how “alone” we really are, on this pale blue dot. And yet we must find a way to save us from ourselves, to ensure that people treat one another with the respect and dignity they deserve. I pray for the day, when the arrogance of angry men will cease, and our leaders will focus on building a just society for all people.

  13. Sarah

    Absolutely fantastic. Well worth your time if you interested at all in humanity and the struggles of mankind.

  14. Beth

    This is an amazing accomplishment: The music--haunting and inspiring, the scenery--mysterious and powerful, the people--all too human, happy, pained, hopeful, despairing. I will recommend it to everyone who matters to me. Thank you so much for making this stunning film.

  15. berry

    Great Movie and Great Stories! Each of Them!

  16. Gilad

    We all need to make a change. That is the message of this film. Be brave and talk about what you have seen.

    Don't be a viewer, be a participant.

  17. Nick

    Absolute piece of art !

  18. Tatiana

    Amazing, extraordinary film! Makes me want to be a better person, less self concerned. Saw it on tv, will definitely purchase a copy to show my kids one day. Thank you!

  19. Moses Adex

    I was moved to tears ...seeing others go through every day.

  20. Chris

    The messages of the people speaking in this movie, while emotional and incredibly compelling, derive from and point out several harsh realities:

    1. At a basic, functional level, the vast majority of people are no different than bacteria; they live to eat and reproduce. Emotion and culture are simply evolutionary artifacts designed to support those basic drives.

    2. The more we collectively are able to eat, the more we reproduce in an endless cycle, unless checked by disease or conflict.

    3. Human suffering stems from that effort to consume in an environment that cannot meet the needs of the growing numbers, since an unchecked population will always grow to a point where it overwhelms production.

    4. If food is not limiting then the needs shift to other consumer items and desires, resulting in conflict rather than starvation and disease as the balancing force to limits our numbers.

    5. People with excess time, having derived their time surplus from both delivering and limiting the basic consumption needs/desires of the masses, masses that would otherwise simply invest their surpluses in reproduction and recreational consumption, is what allows a portion of the population time to study, learn, and explore. This forced investment of surpluses eventually creates technologies that allow society to (a) support greater numbers and (b) advance to higher levels of reproduction. These higher forms of reproduction can include AI (a type of evolution), science/technology (learning how to eat/consume and thus survive off things other than just plants and animals), and space colonization (finding new habitats that enhance the odds of long-term survival).

    Rather than making me feel better about humanity, this movie simply reinforces the realization that people are very basic creatures. We are presently unable to intellectually and voluntarily balance our reproduction & consumption rates/desires to rates that permits existence/life at lower levels of suffering, conflict and exploitation. To achieve an improvement requires that our growth create, share and enforce new philosophies that allow humans to evolve beyond their genetically programmed basic instincts of unbounded reproduction and consumption.

  21. Liz

    "live for the present, not the past" - quote from a small girl with wisdom beyond her years although it was evident, by her tears, the past still haunts her. This film should be shown to school children (mid teens). The poverty in Africa despite the continent's riches which are being stolen from them. The wisdom of the Irishman not afraid of death. The film is long but I had to watch it all. I give it * * * * * : 5 Stars (out of 5).

  22. Philip

    Why we live and how we should live.
    Get ready to be transformed and re-united with your soul.

  23. Mike

    I have been to India and saw first hand the poverty and indifference. I gave all the money away I could and it made no difference. I cried every night when I got back to my hotel. It was gut wrenching. The people in poverty had a kinship we have long since lost in America. I was jealous of their closeness. What is really important in this life? Why are we so alone in America? The atomization of the American family. We believe its shameful for three generations to live under the same roof. Why?

  24. Emil from Poland

    I was crying when I have heard the first story. I realized that our world is incredible and our race has the same needs, no matter who we are and no matter from which part of this planet, we have the same feelings.

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