Story

One Life is a beautifully filmed documentary about the animals, plants and insects with which we share the planet. It is part of a BBC television documentary series narrated by Daniel Craig.

The close-up photography of the most intimate aspects of plant and animal life is quite spectacular and is filmed in many diverse places on Earth. The movie shows a tribe of snow monkeys in a thermal pool in Japan’s freezing winter attacking any others who dare to enter. A baby elephant walks a very long way with its mother to a water hole and nearly dies along the way after getting stuck in the mud. The mating rites of a small red beetle are amazing to see, as the male climbs all the way to the top of a tree, fighting off suitors along the way.

Themes

Predatory animal behaviour; the circle of life; animals in peril

Violence

One Life shows some violence. For example:

  • The snow monkeys attack any other monkeys that try to enter their pool.
  • A praying mantis eats a cricket, but then a chameleon eats the mantis.
  • Cheetahs chase and kill an ostrich.
  • Komodo dragons attack and kill a water buffalo.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, One Life has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The chameleon attacking the praying mantis is shown several times flicking its tongue out before swallowing its prey.
  • The komodo dragons are scary creatures with tongues that flick out constantly.
  • The male silverback gorilla looks quite scary, especially when he beats his chest. 

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, One Life has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:

  • A baby seal is born in icy conditions, and his mother has to protect him from blizzards.
  • A baby elephant has to walk a very long way after it’s born, and it nearly dies stuck in the mud. Its grandmother has to push the mother out of the way to rescue the baby.
  • A baby ibex runs up and down a sheer rock cliff face to escape a fox. It hides in a spot that the fox can’t reach.
  • Some cheetahs chase and bring down an ostrich and eat it.
  • A komodo dragon chases after a water buffalo, which it knows is too big for it to catch. The dragon bites the buffalo’s heel and injects poison into the buffalo. The wound bleeds and attracts many other dragons, which all circle the buffalo. They wait many days until the buffalo becomes too weak to fight back. Then they all start eating it (this is quite disturbing). 

From 8-13

Younger children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

One Life should be OK for this age group. 

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None

Nudity and sexual activity

One Life shows some beetles mating. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

None

Ideas to discuss with your children

One Life is a visually stunning nature documentary with many close-up shots of animals and insects in their natural environments. This cinema release is part of the BBC Life television documentary series narrated by Daniel Craig.

For older children as well as adults, One Life is well worth seeing. But younger children are likely to be upset by images of animals being killed and eaten by other animals.

The main message from this movie is that we have only one Earth, and we must share its resources with all of the animals and plants that live on it. The movie also shows the interconnectedness of all living things.

This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about why animals kill other animals for their food and how humans fit into the food chain.