In the French writer-director Jacques Tati’s superb 1967 film “Play Time,” people are like prisoners condemned to roam about in and amid the glass cages of high-rise office blocks. They are lost, both to the world and themselves. In the world of Tati, who died in 1982 aged 75, all cities look alike; all humans are the victims of an insipid sameness.

How do we turn away from this self-inflicted condemnation? Where do we reconstitute our link with our natural surroundings and, by doing so, reclaim our humanity?

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