Third Rock
Sacred Planet
Review by Ross Anthony

"Discover the Magic of the Place Everyone Calls Home" This is the film's Motto. While "Sacred Planet" offers up a host of pretty pictures and some sweet homilies of our only world; it lacks enough verbal profundity and bountiful resonating imagery to fill the big screen.

Starting slow, and even faint, Robert Redford's reading brings no life to an already rickety text. Fortunately, this narration is limited. As Director Jon Long says, "Most of the words in the film [are] spoken by elders from indigenous cultures around the world ... they put into words their values, the messages that they are trying to pass on to the next generation." These remarks come from tribes inhabiting some of the following regions, which also appear in pretty images: British Columbia and Alaska, Utah and Arizona, Borneo, Thailand, Namibia, and New Zealand. Their words are important, and their message pertinent: "respect our planet, respect nature."

The images are very pleasing, but only a few might actually take your breath away. For instance, a fantastic aerial shot of galloping giraffes commands the screen. It's a graphic display that will stick with you for weeks. Coupled with a pounding rhythmic score, the production really leaps from its sticky beginnings during this sequence.

With little documentary-style narration to help navigate, the production seems to hope that its smorgasbord offerings alone will help a viewer connect the dots. Personally, I like this more intuitive approach. But perhaps "Sacred Planet" could have added a few more dots. I "got" the message, but my guest (to the screening) was left frustrated, "What are they trying to say? What's with those shots of the city life sort of interjected, are they saying civilization is bad? I think they want us to respect the environment - but give us some practical ways."

Myself, I felt the time-lapse cityscapes (while nothing new) added nice contrast to the time-lapse nature scenes (in abundance). And I liked that the film focused on the appreciation of the planet. In any event, "Sacred Planet" should provide a good springboard for conversation regarding civilization and environmentalism.

  • Sacred Planet. Copyright © 2004.
  • Narrated by Robert Redford.
  • Directed and Edited by Jon Long.
  • Produced and Written by Karen Fernandez Long, Jon Long at Walt Disney/New Street/Allied.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:53:19 PDT