Interview with Yann Arthus-Bertrand about his new film HUMAN with enthralling aerial shots and thousands of emotional and thought provoking interviews made around the globe – looking into what it means to be human – and it will make you weep. The screening of Human is part of the autumn 2016 program of the FOTOFABRIKA FESTIVAL in Sofia.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, activist, ecologist, journalist, famous photographer and well-known director of the films HOME, PLANET OCEAN, TERRA, HUMAN and he has already started work on his next film WOMAN – a tribute to the overlooked half of humankind. He is a symbol of a new way of thinking, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program. HUMAN is free of copyrights and is free to be seen on youtube and you can contact his GoodPlanet Association for the organization of a possible screening at your hometown.
Milla Tarabanova: What is your goal?
Yann Arthus-Bertrand: Not to die. You know I’m an activist. I think we can bring some conscience through the cinema. We do the maximum that we can do and we have a lot of nice projects. When you become well-known and you have so many projects… it is always difficult to bring money to a big project, but not as difficult as when you are just beginning. I am able to do things I want, so I do them. And when people say they want to participate, I give my maximum. I’d hate to be retired, so I’m working. I don’t know if it’s work anyway, it’s living. That’s all.
Milla Tarabanova: During your film Human I kept crying. It is a gorgeous film, but when I started thinking about what you are doing, I came to the conclusion that you are either a modern Messiah or a modern Sisyphus.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand: You know I am a journalist. I am the bridge between what I want to do and the public. I think that a journalist, in fact, is only that – you bring the news, you bring your feeling and after that you give it to the public. When you do cinema, television, write books – I think it is a heavy work. It is not work you take lightly. I want my work to be useful. I am not into fashion, I hate advertising and I am not too much in these art things. I am trying to stay simple. To be direct so that everybody can understand my movie. It is not too much of me, in fact, it is too much of the other in my work. And I want to stay like that. Anyway, as an artist you change reality and create your own reality, while I am not trying to change it. I think it is stronger than anything and nothing is more beautiful than reality. You have to be quite modest and full of humility in front of that. There are too many intellectual things and sometimes the artists don’t like me too much because I think you have to stay simple. There are so many things that I cannot believe are happening. Today if you see what is happening in Aleppo, the refugees in the Mediterranean, everything that happens every day, there are so many things to say. I don’t need to say more than that. It is more than enough. And because I am a journalist who covers wildlife with a nature and wildlife background, I like to keep to reality. My work is based on that. The closer I come to the end, I want to go straight to the real things in life. I think it is very important. You know, it is not ridiculous to say you have a mission…, perhaps, you need not use such a strong word, but you can change the world. Everybody can do it. You do what you do and change the world in your own way. It is not something special. Everybody can decide that we can improve the world. And I love to improve the world through my work. I don’t want to make pretentious…I am ambitious but I hope in a good way.
Milla Tarabanova: How did aerial photography change your outlook?
Yann Arthus-Bertrand: I don’t know. Every day you change. You become older. Every day you’re like a sponge, you take things in. It’s more reading and more trying to analyze…what we see, the impact that we have. Since I am an ecologist, all my work is what we do on the planet. People think we speak about the Sixth Extinction all the time, but it is not a small matter. People see it as a world, but it is not just a world – it is something really deep. The Sixth Extinction of life on the planet (the rapid extinction of numerous species on earth as a result of human activity) is something so overwhelming. I don’t understand why we don’t react. There are very few people who believe in it. People know, but they don’t want to believe. They don’t want to believe in what we know. As I said yesterday I’m a little bit fed up with repeating this fact, I take more pleasure in doing something, like this movie HUMAN. Like my new movie WOMAN.
Milla Tarabanova: Last question, has our awareness of the environmental problems and about conflicts evolved from the time you started working on these issues?
Yann Arthus-Bertrand: I think we know, but we don’t change anything. Everybody knows now. It’s on the television, on the news every day. People know about that but they don’t want to think about it. They don’t want to change their comfort, in fact, to change our civilization. The way it works. We always want more. You know you have, for example, ads for attaining happiness everywhere. On the tv, in the airport, buy more, happiness is this and that, and it is very difficult to get out of this vicious circle. Buying, buying, buying and acquiring things. We don’t care about the world’s resources. We take and take. It’s not enough and we still continue. The algae movie (PLANET OCEAN, 2012) was good to show this fact, but we still don’t want to change anything. And how we live is a paradise for everybody. It’s paradise for Africa. You know, two days ago 3000 people arrived in France on 5 or 6 boats! 3000 people! Can you imagine! And more will come. If you live in Sudan and Ethiopia, you have no other option than to leave. They are not democratic countries, the poverty, the food, the education – they don’t have any option than to leave. And now, you know what’s going to happen, you see the difference in the salaries, they want to come. I would come myself. It’s very difficult to accept that and I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we should think about humanity above our fears. Definitely!
………………….. the full interview you will find in the magazine…………………………….