On Arte, “When the man is not there… the animals dance! »… and the sperm whales discuss


Nostalgia for confinement, it was necessary to dare, on the eve of the end of the year holidays. When the man is not there… the animals dance! take up the challenge, by putting yourself in the skin of the animal. The first images thus plunge us abruptly into what many try to forget: a motorway artery without a car; the Haussmannian heart of Paris deserted and silent.

Strangely, this non-spectacle still captivates. Before tenderizing, when the scenes filmed in spring 2020 follow. A mother duck and her ducklings stroll on the Paris ring road, protected by a biker; a couple of wild boars and their wild boar cross a street in Tel Aviv; a koala walks the shelves of a shoe store … Lively music accentuates the feeling of good humor.

Of these funny scenes but already seen, among others in The year the earth changed, by Tom Beard, on AppleTV +, the directors Thierry Berrod and Sylvie Ruet offer a double rereading focused on noise pollution (in the first part) and light (second part), detailing the benefits of their absence on wildlife, and the harmful consequences of their return.

Read also “The Year the Earth Changed”, on Apple TV +: when the animals came to town

Overview of solutions

Each opus follows the same framework and alternates humorous sequences of animals in incongruous situations with interviews denouncing the ravages of these deadly pollution for certain species. A “Scottish shower” scenario which ends with a brief overview of the solutions.

Thereby, The Return of Silence In particular, the viewer takes the viewer to the Mediterranean Sea in the wake of acousticians who have taken advantage of confinement to listen to the noises of fish, usually masked by that of engines, boat propellers or wind turbine blades. For the first time, a discussion between sperm whales was recorded off Monaco. Small precision, the sperm whale is also expressed by “His flatulence [qui] resonate like underwater eruptions ”. Serious even alarmist, the commentary in voice over is sometimes joking …

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Nicolas Gilsoul: “Fauna does not return to cities with confinement, but we see it and we hear it”

After a kind of mini-video gag, The Return of the Dark Night sets out to meet leatherback turtles, back on the beaches of Thailand, and migratory birds, among others on the steep slopes of Grand Bénare (2,898 meters), in Reunion.

Less beautiful, the report on the tree frogs and toads, crushed in quantity on the roads, is particularly moving. The cameras followed volunteers on their rescue missions. Delicately, in the pitch black, they grab the greyish, slimy amphibians to drop them off in a safe place, with an empathy reminiscent of another. “Near a rut, at the edge of a puddle of rain / A toad looked at the sky, dazzled beast”, wrote Victor Hugo.

Read also “The Year the Earth Changed”, on Apple TV +: when the animals came to town

When the man is not there … the animals dance!, documentary by Thierry Berrod and Sylvie Ruet (Fr., 2021, 2 × 45 min). Replay on 27 at 4:55 p.m., available on Arte.tv until January 14.

We would love to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this remarkable content

On Arte, “When the man is not there… the animals dance! »… and the sperm whales discuss