A World Unseen: The Revenant

2016, Performing Arts  -   11 Comments
Storyline

A meditation on the making and meaning of the Oscar-winning film The Revenant, one of 2015's most astounding cinematic achievements, A World Unseen exposes the soul-plunging struggles involved in bringing an epic vision to the screen.

It's definitely a mammoth project that commands reflection. A largely embellished story centered around a real-life 19th century frontiersman named Hugh Glass, The Revenant is perhaps most notable for its bitterly grueling shooting conditions and ferocious lead performance from actor Leonardo DiCaprio. The documentary explores the fabric of these elements and much more.

The film's production was a Herculean task from the start. In the documentary's centerpiece interview, director and co-writer Alejandro Inarritu grapples with his reasoning for taking it on. It seems that the project's degree of difficulty - shooting in hostile climates throughout some of the world's most remote locations - was exactly the point. He wanted to set a nearly impossible challenge for himself both physically and creatively, and witness the transformations that occurred therein.

That same searching and unquenchable spirit infected the rest of his cast and crew. Their sacrifices are apparent in the very marrow of the completed picture. Through a candid conversation with DiCaprio, we discover the means by which he uncovered deeper and more primal layers within himself during the process of shooting. Together, he and Inarritu managed to find poetry in nature's indifference, and in the lead character's fight for survival in the face of tremendous adversity.

Beyond the nuts and bolts of the movie making process, the documentary also elucidates the environmental factors that informed the film. The harsh winter setting dictated the emotional temperature of each scene, and the picture evolved in direct synchronicity with the challenges it brought forth. We're also given a historical context for each location, and we learn how that history is still recognizable in the terrain and reflected in the way we regard the natural world today.

Featuring a wealth of sumptuously photographed behind the scenes footage and fascinating insights from artists who work in various departments, A World Unseen is an exploration that's more than worthy of its breathtaking subject.

Directed by: Eliot Rausch
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7.80
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Ratings: 7.80/10from 44 users.

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11 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Lea

    It saddens me to see how western civilisations have deprived autochtone populations of their identities and forced them to conform to our modes of life.
    Unfortunately, we city people are so removed from the natural world that we just don't realise the implications of our reckless behaviour.
    What we need is a radical change. I agree with the last phrase in the documentary. The most urgent challenge we have today globally is to address the environmental problem.

  2. DustUp

    This was yet another video done by either the ignorant or liars. While those who love propaganda that matches their prior indoctrination, lap it up like a hog to slop.

    1. Capitalism has nothing to do with the exploitative corrupt Corporatism which is the enemy to most of the planet. Without Corporations and their bought govt, very little ill would be done. Without Corporations and their bought govt, people would freely trade among themselves for needs and betterment of all, that is Capitalism.

    2. Without corporations there would be no ridiculous ability to supply ridiculous demand for items we don't need. We are propagandized into wanting things. That truth is no different today than then. So the notion that to discern a situation in the past is unfair unless you know the total picture... we can never know the total picture. But we can know principles. We wouldn't have such massive amount of people believing propaganda if it weren't for Corporations and their bought govt. Corporatism = Fascism according the man who coined the term Fascism (Mussolini).

    2. Political agenda "environmentalists" NEVER mention Chemtrails/GeoEngineering/Weather Modification at all affecting the weather or the snow pack and the environment because they can garner more attention to THEIR particular causes if they conveniently forget to mention Chemtrails as apposed to whatever man made cause they are pushing at the time..

    3. Not all Natives lived in harmony with the environment around them. Some were heavy polluters requiring them to keep moving. Some native tribes displaced and/or killed other Native tribes. However, that doesn't make it ok for evil whitey to do the same.

  3. Bob Stewart

    I believe that Hugh Glass actually forgave the guys that abandoned him when he finally caught up to them. There was no revenge. Only forgiveness. But perhaps that would not have made a very good movie ending. I think the movie blended the stories of Hugh Glass and his contemporary Jedediah Smith, who was really the one who was savagely attacked by the grizzly bear, not Glass.

  4. Thomas

    I own the ski resort in Alberta where the avalanche and many other scenes were filmed. To say they had to move production because of "an unprecedented climate shift" is pure hogwash. We had a Chinook. (Native meaning: "Snow Eater") I was just one of many we experience each winter. They knew what it was and how common chinooks are, but have chosen to deliberately mislead the public for their own political purposes.

    Always be skeptical.

  5. Barry Bozeman

    Knowing what we know and have known our futility looms pathetic lurching toward a rage and an eventual revenge. Our earth and our nature - both mother nature of the natural world and human nature collide with catastrophic consequences. Those share holders and corporate leaders with investors who have purchased the lawmakers are oblivious to the total destruction. Wealthy assassins and world destroyers lost souls forever damned. Their ill-gotten gains piled high in vaults and empty mansions mute testimony to their poverty of spirit. The indigenous peoples could have lived forever in harmony with creation but for the Christian capitalists. Once the last animal is slain and the last tree felled the fire that never dies will rage across the earth and for centuries to come the carbon filled skies will surround the ruined world we wrought and brought upon ourselves. Hell on Earth our legacy of ashes. - this piece of film is a meditation on our fate.

  6. Sohrab Nabizadeh

    I really loved it. I will revisit the movie. All people honesty in creating the doc is really appreciated. I must tell you that as there was a huge and overwhelming publicity on the film, I just lost interest to see it. I thank you all in front and at the back of the camera.

  7. AlwaysNeutral

    Being a fan of the movie, was kinda hoping this doc would focus more heavily on nature and let nature be the theme of the doc. Wasn't expecting a pedantic "horrors of civilization and progress" guilt trip, but it is what it is. I laughed at how they showed so many vehicles ironically ravaging nature to make the film. Regardless of the director's agenda, it was definitely a good doc to watch. I liked how authentic the native american actors were as well as the beautiful shots of the tundra. :)

  8. Kat

    I found this such a sad state our world is becoming...beautiful footage ...thank you for opening our minds

  9. dan

    Technology even back then is the reason Americans are speaking English instead of French, German, Russian, or even Spanish today. The English and Dutch settlers would have been wiped out just as the Indians were had they been just as less evolved for lack of a better word.
    Could early Americans have made better choices; yes. Like what was said in the documentary; criticizing the people in the past by comparing them to the present is wrong and dishonest.

  10. jeanne menich

    saw it as a cd version. although the star is not necessarily a fan of mine given his views, i have found him growing in his acting ability. his ability to command the screen is literally out of this world. the story, somewhat loosely based on a real event where crawling across the rockies actually happened, definitely captured how the desire to live will drive one to go way beyond human capabilities . this was definitely shown in this movie. revenge is also a tremendous motivator which also came through in the film. the interaction of the actors gave the film substance. kudos to the actors and the director who took a gamble on the film. it was well worth it.

  11. Suzanne Hayano

    A fantastic documentary-commentary on life and spiritualism...who are humans and what they can be. This documentary has inspired me and given me hope that
    the human specie can understand and do what is necessary to recover and appreciate the beauty of nature. This documentary gives me hope - and the hope is that humans become educated and make wise choices.
    Thank you to the director, actors and entire staff of "The Revenant". I am going to go see it again with a greater appreciation. Suzanne Hayano