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Review: ‘Love Thy Nature’ documentary plugs biological solutions to save ailing environmental

Dimitra Jiova in the movie "Love Thy Nature."
(In The Light Productions)

Many a tree is hugged in “Love Thy Nature,” a meditative endangered-environment documentary that cushions its inconvenient truths in achingly serene landscapes and inspirational quotes by the likes of naturalist John Muir, author Rachel Carson and philosopher Alan Watts.

Tracing the disconnect between man and nature from the industrial revolution through to the sun-averse digital revolution, the film admittedly does warn that we’re “running into an evolutionary wall.”

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But filmmaker Sylvie Rokab nevertheless sees light at the end of the tunnel through a biological revolution focusing on biomimicry, a relatively recent development in which sustainable technology is informed by nature’s models and designs.

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Accompanying the soft-spoken talking heads and the artfully posed groupings of slender, attractive younger people cavorting with Mother Earth is gently reflective but oddly muffled narration by Liam Neeson (identifying himself as a character called Sapiens), who sounds like he was recorded in a bathroom.

Although the film is commendable for trying to caution audiences of the usual pressing ecological concerns without scaring them into a guilt-ridden stupor, it still cries out for much greater depth and perspective.

With its twinkly piano and soul-stirring cinematography, “Love Thy Nature” feels like the visual equivalent of a hot oil spa massage — and leaves a residual effect that proves equally as fleeting.

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‘Love Thy Nature’

Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 16 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica

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