“Love Thy Nature” Fails to Compel and Convince Audiences
On Tuesday, April 26, HSS 165 fills with students attending a screening of Love Thy Nature, a documentary directed by Sylvie Rokab. The screening was organized in part by Santa Monica College’s Center for Environmental and Urban Studies as a part of Earth Week 2017. The film is introduced by Sheila Laffey, an associate producer, and a film professor at SMC.
Love Thy Nature is a documentary about environmentalism and climate change, but it presents different perspectives on those issues. The main point of the film is that humans need to reconnect with nature, and only then will they be able to combat climate change. The film is narrated by Liam Neeson as a character who speaks from the point of view of all humans. The majority of Love Thy Nature consists of slow-motion shots of people interacting with nature, walking in parks, and swimming in rivers — with Neeson’s narration — and interviews with various scientists and psychologists.
While the film was visually pleasing, it lacks substance.
There are many films about climate change, and they all offer information about concrete action we can take to combat the problems our planet is facing. Love Thy Nature differs from those films. The only concrete science it talks about was biomimicry, a newly evolving field in which scientists develop inventions that mimic patterns in nature. A segment labeled the “Biological Revolution” mostly consists of interviews with scientists associated with the Biomimicry Institute. The rest of the film largely resembles a motivational poster. Throughout its duration, the film repeats the mantra of how important it is that humans spend time in nature. The film ends with two minutes of pictures of animals with inspirational messages over them.
After the film, most of the students in the audience file out immediately — although Rokab, who also co-wrote, edited, and collaborated on the cinematography for the film, was hosting a Q&A about the movie. Most of the questions asked of the director were about Rokab’s cinematography, which made sense. It was undoubtedly breathtaking, but that was where the intrigue ended.
Love Thy Nature lacks in compelling points about how we can combat climate change. The idea that the most important thing we can do to help our planet is to reconnect with nature translates as disingenuous. With so many people talking about the ways we can save Earth, a good documentary needs solid evidence supporting its points.