Sitting on the deck of a beautiful boat, the divers are watching the waves of the ocean and are sitting completely still.
This is a shot taken after the deep-sea diving experience of the characters from a memorable film called Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, a movie that brought many new experiences back into the lives of people. The movie through its different experiences taught us the meaning of life. However, it also reminded the audience of their own experience and the connections that they made with nature. It established the fact that no matter where we are, or who we are with, nature always comes in connection with us.
When was the last time that you were moved by a film or a documentary like this? Was there any such motion picture that had the power to change your beliefs or views? What do you think of environmental films, does it have any impact on you? What do you think of the impact?
The impact can be of many ways. It can either be a beautiful change that inspires the audiences to take an action for the cause. Or it can also affect an individual negatively. However, the impact is always complicated to plan or predict.
Similarly, when a film or a documentary is being made, it has the purpose of reaching out to the audiences but what its impact would be, is something unpredictable.
When creating a story or an impact plan, the filmmakers will have to understand what the change would look like, how to make it connect with the audiences, and how to make it so different that it inculcates an idea to bring change. Nature films or nature documentaries have come to a full circle over the course of time. In the early days of it, nature films were made about animals to help in establishing a new medium that could be the source of several trustworthy information.
There was a time when the increasing environmental problem over the general population did not seem to be a problem for the people. Filmmakers often refused to make stories on environmental crises; there was a reluctance in the filmmakers as well as the audiences to address and attend to this issue. However over a period of time, there was a gradual change, as the situation worsened, people began to realize their bad situation and acceptance came into the picture.
People, having been bombarded with years of ongoing environmental problems have made it difficult to ignore the state of the planet. In order to become well informed and help society in some way or the other, environmental documentaries became a source of rescue all over the world.
This is the kind of impact that I tend to mention above. Environmental documentaries are now having an enormous impact on the viewers, so much so that more than 14.1 billion people watched the BBC series in the year of 2017. It is because of its positive impact on the people that more and more television shows, channels, and documentaries have started emerging, like Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, BBC World, Fox Traveler, and whatnot.
Moving pictures have the power to elicit emotional responses in human beings. Moreso these documentaries have made the world much more aware of the potential risk that humans themselves have created. It has been noticed that about 90 percent of the population becomes more aware of the disease, environmental crisis, or any other change that is happening in nature through these well-made documentaries.
People have a more changed behavior towards the environment, they become more aware of the problem. What is so enlightening about these films that it makes the viewers change their mind is that these films/documentaries show nature as what it is, without the human touch, and then gradually show what the humans have done to it, once they started misusing it.
Modern-day documentaries show the making of these films. This separate section of making reveals some of the scenes that are more awakening than those shown on TV. It helps in breaking down the wall between humans and the environment a little bit more.
The audience plays the most important role in this whole process. Choosing the right type of audience also helps in creating a meaningful impact. For example, in 2009 a famous Oscar-nominated film, The Cove, was released. It was a documentary about the Taiji dolphin hunting, which created international outrage and put pressure on the Japanese aquariums to stop acquiring the catch of the Taiji dolphins.
This had a positive impact on the audiences, which created awareness in the society of how humans are destroying their own nature. However, on the other hand, the spy thriller feel of the documentary made it very appealing to western audiences, which ultimately alienated the Japanese audience and the outrage for its protection.
In order for the documentaries to work and create an impact, several aspects are put at stake. While the audience was one such aspect and that to the most important one, another aspect is an emotion that the film plays with. When the film creates an emotional connection with the audience, the changes after that become much more evident.
There is a movie called, Thank You For The Rain, which is a story about a Kenyan farmer and an environmentalist Kisilu Musya. The film was made to humanize the climate crisis and had an ambitious impact on the audiences. The film was able to make each viewer think that it was them who was experiencing the devastation and so looking at their own disaster. This realization made the audience more aware.
All the above statements were simply to explain how these documentaries impact the audiences. Even when people are suffering from the problem, they won’t realize it until they are shown that to what extent it can be catastrophic. Visual media plays a lot of importance in these matters. Both human life and wildlife have been saved and can be saved further with the help of these modern documentaries.
About the Author: Devaanshi is a humanities student with an absolute love for traveling and everything related to it. Cooking and Writing are other fields that interest her.