Earth Week is officially underway, with several days of ecological awareness building up to the 42nd annual Earth Day on Sunday, April 22. But while Earth Day and Earth Week are all about environmental stewardship and sustainability, they're also a time to simply appreciate their namesake planet in its raw, unadulterated form.

A short film produced earlier this year offers a good way to do that from the safety of your browser window. Titled "We Were Wanderers on a Prehistoric Earth," it mixes sweeping footage of Malaysian wildlife with a dramatic reading from Joseph Conrad's 1899 novel "Heart of Darkness" (also the source of the film's title). Check it out:

Conrad uses Africa's wilderness symbolically in "Heart of Darkness," like a mirror that reflects darkness in the humans trying to conquer it. Even today, more than a century later, wilderness can still teach us something about ourselves — and not just ourselves, but also the humbling, overwhelming ecosystems from which we came.

Also on MNN:

Russell McLendon ( @russmclendon ) writes about humans and other wildlife.

Watch: 'Wanderers on a Prehistoric Earth'
Kick off Earth Week with this dramatic three-minute film, which dives into the 'Heart of Darkness' to highlight the humbling majesty of our planet.