Our earth - the film

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German title Our earth - the film
Original title Earth
Country of production Great Britain , Germany , USA
original language English
Publishing year 2007
length 99 minutes
Age rating FSK 6
Director Alastair Fothergill
Mark Linfield
script David Attenborough
Leslie Megahey
Alastair Fothergill
Mark Linfield
production Sophocles Tasioulis
Alix Tidmarsh
André Sikojev
Nikolaus Weil
Stefan Beiten
Mike Phillips
Wayne Garvie
music George Fenton
Anggun (Song: Un Jour Sur Terre)
camera Earth Camera Team:
Richard Brooks Burton
Andrew Shillabeer
Andrew Anderson
Doug Anderson
Doug Allen
Paul Atkins
Barrie Britton
Simon Carroll
Rod Clarke
Martin Colbeck
Justine Evans
Wade Fairley
Ted Giffords
Mike Holding
Michael Kelem
Simon King
Toshihiro Muta
Justin Maguire
Didier Noiret
Andrew Penniket
Rick Rosenthal
Adam Ravetch
Tim Shepherd
Peter Scoones
Warwick Stoss
Paul Stewart
Gavin Thurston
Jeff Turner
Nick Turner
John Waters
cut Martin Elsbury

Our Earth - The Film (original title: Earth ) is a documentary film by the directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield from 2007. The BBC production is distributed in Germany by Universum Film .


The film shows images of wild animals that live far from human civilization. In addition, the film describes the flora in the various climatic zones and provides information on the history of life on earth , especially the origin and effect of the seasons on the flora and fauna.

The journey begins 1,200 km south of the North Pole . In March, when the polar night ends, a mother polar bear leaves her den for the first time with her cubs, while a male polar bear searches for food on the melting ice floes . The tundra begins 1600 km south of the North Pole , where wolves follow the huge herds of caribou . The next stop is the taiga , the largest coniferous region in the world, where lynx and the extremely rare Amur leopard are at home. Subsequently, animal species are shown in the temperate deciduous forest zone, including a mandarin duck , whose young daringly let themselves fall from their tree hole onto the ground for the first time. In the Himalayas , young cranes have to survive a dangerous flight from Tibet to India at an altitude of 8,000 meters past the highest mountains in the world to get to their wintering areas in the south. In the tropical rainforest of Papua New Guinea , birds of paradise are shown at their striking courtship . In the Kalahari , elephant and cape buffalo herds have to undertake long hikes to the water sources of the Okavango in order to survive the dry season. A nocturnal elephant hunt is shown, with a pack of 30 lions attacking a cow elephant with her cubs. Then it goes into the oceans, where a great white shark is shown hunting a seal with the help of a computer-controlled camera . The camera follows the fan fish while fishing and a humpback whale mother with her young to the krill grounds in the Southern Ocean . From the Adelie penguins in Antarctica , after the beginning of the polar winter, the route goes back to summer at the Arctic Circle, where an emaciated male polar bear, desperate for prey, attacks a herd of walrus in vain and ultimately dies of exhaustion.

The film ends with the appeal to take action against global warming , as researchers already fear that the wild polar bear populations will become extinct by 2030 and an increase in ocean temperatures will lead to the extinction of plankton , which is vital for large parts of the marine population .


With a cost of 30 million euros, Our Earth is one of the most elaborate nature films. The shooting lasted from October 10, 2003 to September 16, 2006. More than 40 camera teams stored 1000 hours of film material that was shot over 4,000 days. The more than 200 locations were in 26 countries around the world.

Our earth is the first nature documentary in which the Cineflex heligimbal camera was used. This camera is mounted on the outside of a helicopter and can be rotated 360 ° from the cockpit using a joystick. The camera is attached vibration-free with the help of gyroscopes . This enables blur-free recordings from an air height of up to 500 meters without the cameramen disturbing the animals' natural behavior.

Since the use of helicopters on the summit of Mount Everest is not possible due to the altitude and because of their speed, aircraft that can be used there do not produce good film results, a reconnaissance aircraft from the Army of Nepal was used for the filming. In this way it was possible for the first time to take aerial photographs of this highest mountain range in the world for a film production.

The footage was shown for the first time as part of the TV documentary series Planet Earth . The movie also contains scenes that were not previously shown. Some underwater scenes were taken from the BBC film Deep Blue or the TV documentary series Our Blue Planet on which this film is based .

The voice of the narrator in the German version comes from Ulrich Tukur , in the Swiss-German version from Mona Vetsch . In the English original, Patrick Stewart is the narrator. For the US market, the voice of James Earl Jones was used. Paolo Bonolis spoke the Italian version, Ken Watanabe can be heard in the Japanese and Anggun in the French version.

The film premiered on July 14, 2007 at the Vaduz Film Festival in Liechtenstein . In Switzerland, the film was shown from October 10, 2007, the German theatrical release was on February 7, 2008, in Austria the film release followed a day later. It was released on DVD on October 6, 2008.

It was not until April 22, 2009, the worldwide Earth Day , that the film was shown in the USA . There it is distributed by Disneynature , a subcontractor of the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group .

The film music was recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic .

In 2013, a BBC video was made known that reported manipulated scenes. The result was a scene in which a female polar bear does not give birth to her cubs in the Arctic, as is told in the film, but in a Dutch zoo with an artificially created snow backdrop.

National and international success

With 3.8 million visitors and box office earnings of 29.9 million US dollars, the film is one of the most successful nature documentaries in German cinema history. In the UK, where it screened in 14 theaters, the documentary flopped with revenues of $ 143,967.

The documentary grossed US $ 108.7 million worldwide, of which US $ 32.0 million came from box office earnings.

The free TV premiere took place in Germany in March 2010, with a rate of around 3.34 million television viewers.

Director's comment

"If we were to shoot this film in ten or 20 years, we would no longer be able to capture many of these extraordinary images that we are now showing on the big screen," says director Alastair Fothergill . He also said: “The film conveys a subtle, but no less haunting message, which is intended to encourage all those who watch“ Our Earth - The Film ”to do something to preserve our beautiful but sensitive planet. "


German reviews

Thomas Wolf praised the brilliant animal photos in the Frankfurter Rundschau , but complained that "the commentary undercuts the level of knowledge from Grzimek's time and that the pathos-laden orchestral music can easily slide some scenes from the great into the ridiculous".

Björn Helbig from the editorial team of Filmstarts considers the film to be “an excellent nature documentary”, but at the same time regrets that “the unity of the TV series, each of which focuses on a specific topic (e.g.» Water Worlds «or» Desert Worlds «,» Eiswelten «) dedicated”, could not be achieved, so that the selection of the episodes shown sometimes “seems arbitrary”. In addition, Helbig praised “symbolic images” and the speaker Ulrich Tukur.

International reviews

Jay Weissberg wrote in Variety that “the film would call for a performance in an IMAX movie theater. The resolution seems so crystal clear and the colors so real that anything but a flicker-free, flawless canvas would be annoying ”.


The Dutch audience gave the film the TV Krant Filmposter Award 2007 for the film poster showing an underwater shot of a swimming polar bear.

The Bogey Award was given to over 1000 visitors per copy on the opening weekend in 2008.

Also in 2008, the film received the golden screen for over 3 million moviegoers in Germany.


In 2017, the sequel Our Earth 2 was filmed, in which life in different places on earth is documented in a single day. The film was released in German cinemas on March 15, 2018. The narrator of the English version is Robert Redford , the Chinese Jackie Chan and the German Günther Jauch .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for our earth - the film . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , January 2008 (PDF; test number: 112 867 K).
  2. Age rating for Our Earth - The Film . Youth Media Commission .
  3. a b c Budget and box office results according to the Internet Movie Database
  4. a b c d Background information according to the Internet Movie Database
  5. New technology - The cineflex heligimbal ( Memento of the original from October 7, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.loveearth.com
  6. a b c Start dates according to the Internet Movie Database
  7. “Our Earth - The Film” in the Lexicon of International Films .
  8. Elke Bodderas: The truth about this famous animal photo In Welt-Online from October 21, 2013, accessed on October 23, 2013
  9. box office results on boxofficemojo.com
  10. Green Day on ProSieben
  11. a b c Review of the film on filmstarts.de, Björn Helbig
  12. "I want to inspire people" ( Memento from June 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive ), Frankfurter Rundschau , Thomas Wolf, February 5, 2008
  13. Film review ( Memento of the original from June 11, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Variety , Jay Weissberg, October 2, 2007 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.variety.com
  14. Blickpunkt: Film , issue 9/08 of February 25, 2008, page 55