If documentary A Bite of China （《舌尖上的中国》） presented a feast for the eyes with its appetizing images of cuisines from around the country, Aerial China （《航拍中国》）, a new series that premiered on CCTV on Jan 28, offers another visual treat with its footage of the breathtaking beauty of the country’s natural landscapes.
The series has 34 episodes, each featuring a different place. The first season’s six episodes feature scenery from Heilongjiang, Hainan, Xinjiang, Shaanxi, Shanghai and Jiangxi. According to the Beijing Morning Post, it took one year to film the first season, with crew using 16 helicopters and 57 drones.
The total distance they covered was about 150,000 kilometers – enough to circle the earth four times.
Their efforts have paid off, however. Aerial China currently has a score of 9.4 points out of 10 on douban.com, an influential rating and review website. The majority of viewers are impressed by the amazing view of nature the show presents. From the glistening blue of the South China Sea to the vast grassland where herdsmen hunt in Xinjiang, from centuries-old city walls and the landmark Qinling Mountain in Shaanxi to busy ski resorts and dense forests in Heilongjiang, “every frame of this show would make a great desktop wallpaper,” commented Huashang Morning Post.
But amazing views are not the only thing Aerial China wants to show to the audience. “Every footage and every line of voiceover narration conveys the love of our motherland,” chief director Yu Le said in an interview with CCTV. “The more you know about the place where we live, the more you feel obliged to protect it.”
And as the largest-scale aerial imaging documentary in China’s history, Yu hopes that it can bring viewers some food for thought. “It allows audiences to see the world from above with brand new perspectives,” he told CCTV. “It may occur to the audience that human beings are in fact very tiny creatures in the universe and our life is fleeting, so we should not dwell on the worries and losses. Just think outside of the routine – you’ll find an enriched life.”
作为中国历史上最大规模的航拍纪录片，余乐希望这部纪录片能够引发观众的深思。“它让观众们能以全新的视角俯瞰世界，”他在接受央视采访时表示。“观众或许会想到，实际上人类在宇宙中十分渺小，我们的生命也十分短暂，所以不应患得患失。只要想想日常生活之外的世界 —— 你的人生就会丰富起来。”