Yann Arthus- Bertrand came to California to present HUMAN, his latest documentary, and WOMAN, the upcoming one. He met an enthusiastic audience in LA, SF, Menlo Park and Stanford. 


The French director, photographer, journalist, reporter and environmentalist, and Anastasia Mikova have been kind enough to grant us some time to answer a few questions and share reflexions. Here is our story... Yann Arthus-Bertrand as seen from SF.


End of June, we all had the same question... ''Have you watched Human? Were you at the screening in SF or Menlo Park? How do you feel about it?'' 


I was there in San Francisco and then 2 days later attended the conversation at Parisoma lead by Dominique Piotet between Alexandre Mars and Yann Arthus-Bertrand.


The HUMAN effect...


HUMAN is obviously an overwhelming movie, that brings us from feelings to emotions, sometimes conflicting and in contradiction ones with each other. We go from smiling to embarrassment, from affection to guilt, from compassion to empathy. 


As Yann Arthus-Bertrand reminds it to us, ''it is such a different film. Different, in the first place, because it is not a commercial entertainment movie.''


HUMAN is the result of 2000 interviews with 120 that have been selected and edited for the movie, 2 years spent to meet people and ask them about love, happiness and the meaning of life.


Yann Arthus-Bertrand explains how these people kind of went through a therapy path. They were asked questions that gave like a frame, a direction. But in the end, they went on their own. ''In the end, people seemed to forget about us. They did not pay attention to us any longer. They ended saying things they had no intention to say at the beginning. But they felt better afterwards.''


This catharsis effect is also real for the audience since the experience is so intense that it somehow forces us into some kind of introspection. What would we have told if we had been asked the same questions?


Yann Arthus-Bertrand was really enthusiastic with his Californian experience. What struck him the most is this ability that the American audience has to genuinely feel emotions as if they were directly connected with them.



''We all have a bit of Trump in ourselves''


Yann Arthus-Bertrand was asked about the symbol represented by his movie in the country that elected Donal Trump. He answered right away... ''We all have a bit of Trump in ourselves''

It is like accepting the idea of the sometines ambiguous diversity of the human kind.



Find our mission


When asked about the possibility of being optimistic, Yann Arthus-Bertrand simply answers that it is too late to be pessimistic. We have to act, any action can be useful, happiness relies on action and we all have a mission.  We just have to find it and identify it. HUMAN aims at encouraging it. It sounds like a declaration of hope that Yann Arthus-Bertrand believes in and wants to share with others.


Yann Arthus-Bertrand has this conviction that anyone can contribute and change the world. At Parisoma, that was definitely the main purpose of the conversation, Yann Arthus-Bertrand's conviction being echoed by Alexandre Mars, French social entrepreneur, who has decided to dedicate his expertise and savoir-faire to philanthropy.




If you happen to spend some time in Paris in a near future, go to the Foundation GoodPlanet, and discover the current exhibition about HUMAN.






To talk about WOMAN, Anastasia Mikova joined us. She has been working with Yann Arthus-Bertrand for many years now and will co-direct WOMAN with him.


Photo by Sabrina Bot 


WOMAN appeared like an evidence after HUMAN. Anastasia simply explains that women really want to express and assert themselves. There is currently a vast and powerful movement that she and Yann want to be part of. ''Women have different priorities, a different vision, a different approach.''



WOMAN's ambition and purpose is to illustrate what it means to be a woman today, what makes you a woman. ''And who else than women to express it with accurate words. HUMAN will give voice to women, exclusively''.


It is not a feminist movie. Women have a different vision about life, neither worse nor better than men's one, just different. The movie intends to reveal this multiplicity and diversity.



Awareness, mission and action


WOMAN is first and foremost a film, but it is also a multimedia project. The idea is to put in place an interactive platform from the very beginning and keep it constantly updated. This platform will go online, photographs and edited footage will be uploaded when completed, ensuring that people will be able to watch interviews free on Internet alongside the main film.


The ultimate purpose is to inspire missions and actions by giving ideas and solutions options.



WOMAN's team already completed dozens of interviews, foresees a year of work ahead and the plan is to present WOMAN at Cannes for the Spring 2019 Festival Edition while HUMAN had been introduced at the Venice Festival.




Co-directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand and Anastasia Mikova

Hope Production