After Tomorrow, discover Animal, Cyril Dion’s new documentary: “Humans can …

Six years after the success of “Demain”, which had attracted more than a million spectators and opened up possibilities for other models of society for another world, Cyril Dion questions our relationship with living things in the documentary “Animal”. Meet.

After tomorrow, discover animal, cyril dion's new documentary: "humans can...
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Animal by Cyril Dion

At the movies this week

Bella and Vipulan are 16 years old, a generation convinced that their future is threatened. Climate change, 6th mass extinction of species … within 50 years their world could become uninhabitable. They might alert but nothing really changes. So they decide to go back to the source of the problem: our relationship to the living world. Throughout an extraordinary journey, they will understand that we are deeply connected with all other species. And that by saving them, we will also save ourselves. The human being believed that he could separate himself from nature, but he is nature. He too is an Animal.

AlloCiné: Ecology and the climate issue were in the center of attention this year at the Cannes Film Festival. What does this inspire you?

Cyril Dion: It makes me happy, obviously. It was already a call that I launched at the Festival in 2019, with a platform with the On est Prêt movement which called on filmmakers, directors and producers to make films that help us imagine the future differently. By telling yourself that it’s a bit difficult to build a truly green world if you aren’t able to imagine it first. And who better than filmmakers, screenwriters can do it? So the fact that this year the festival decides to make a selection on this subject and at the same time highlights the films, that is to say their cinematographic dimension, and the subject while also making efforts on the organization of the festival, I find it a very encouraging step.

Climatic incidents are on the increase, the situation is worsening more and more clearly, how can we explain our inaction and our blindness in the face of all this?

I don’t think it’s blindness. I think it’s a form of denial and it’s a way human beings work to react when disaster strikes. We have seen it with the pandemic: we have known for decades that flu syndrome can degenerate. We weren’t ready. Basically, we had postponed the organization that should have been had when the pandemic occurred. It’s a bit the same with the climate.

We have known since the end of the 1970s that global warming is here. We know what this will have as consequences … Exxon scientists, in 1982, had calculated that in 2019, we would already be at +1 degree of warming on average on the planet, which was the case in 2019 And that we would be at 415 parts per million – the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere – we were there in 2019. So we know everything. We have known everything for forty years.

You have to fight for every tenth of a degree

Simply, on the one hand, the private sector and particularly the big oil companies did everything to sow doubt, to conduct contradictory studies, to suggest that we were not sure what was going to happen and that Nor should we be catastrophic and prevent progress and prevent our civilization from developing as it develops … Which is really deeply criminal.

And then again, until that happens, it’s still a bit of a concept for people. There, it is becoming very concrete. I can tell you that I have friends in California, especially scientists, who say the apocalypse is here because the droughts are here, because the mega fires are here, because they too last year have saw villages go up in smoke, because their lives are changing, being turned upside down. There, climatologists tell us: in the decades to come, 50 degrees in Lille, we will have them.

Unfortunately, we waited too long, but that doesn’t mean we can’t react today. Everything we can do from now on, every tenth of a degree that we will manage to gain from the increase in temperature is fundamental. You have to fight for every tenth of a degree.

The films in the “Cinema for the Climate” selection are all linked to each other, in the sense that these repeated upheavals are the different symptoms of an alarming global situation. And the solution undoubtedly lies in our ability to give up a little comfort in favor of a greater humanity. But are we capable of this?

We can ask the question like that, ask ourselves if we can give up our comfort. Another way of posing the problem, which is the one we developed in Animal, it is rather to say to oneself what other social project one can have. We humans need to find meaning and be motivated by something. We need the future we are going to build to also be something that stimulates us, inspires us, makes us dream. If it’s just deprivation, I don’t believe it. And there, what we try to show in Animalis that for the moment, the direction that our society is taking is: always more economic growth, always more wealth, always more material possession. It is bringing us towards disaster.

The other direction we could take is: what are we, human beings for, in the rest of ecosystems and in the midst of living things? And what the amazing people we met told us is that humans can be the keepers of life. As we have the capacity to understand how ecosystems work, our mission – the meaning that we could give to our societies – is to ensure that life continues to be perpetuated on this planet.

Humans can be the guardians of the living

Both for us and obviously, therefore ensuring that human beings live in good health in the healthiest possible environments, but also that all the rest of the ecosystems are enriched by replanting forests, replanting mangroves, re- wild. Allow animals which today are essential to our lifestyles to be able to find spaces to feed themselves, to evolve and potentially leave a world for our children that will be even more alive than the world we are in today.

It is a perspective that is exceptional and which effectively asks us to change the rules of the game: change the rules of the economic game, change the rules of the game, of town planning, of the way we inhabit the territory … But Not only is it very beneficial because it will allow us not to disappear, but in addition, it is infinitely more interesting in terms of intellectual stimulation, creativity than simply seeking to increase the GDP. Me, I think we need that. We need to give ourselves exciting horizons.

Interview in Cannes in July 2021

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