DOCUMENTARY; 1hr 35min
DIRECTED BY: Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield
BBC Natural History Unit directors Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield spent thousands of hours exploring our environmentally challenged planet while scoping out the struggles and triumphs of its wildlife. Their motivation: “…to take stock of what we have — and what we stand to lose.” The journey, culled from the BBC series Planet Earth and narrated by Patrick Stewart, takes them from Antarctica to Papua New Guinea with 24 other countries in the mix. The maiden voyage of two tumbling polar bear cubs and their ravenous mother is the film’s first pit stop — intimate images whose wow-factor access set the painstaking tone (and just wait for the undersea photography, as incandescent as a fever dream).
Nature documentarians are supremely patient and hardy individuals, eyeballing wild beasts in landscapes of perversely thrilling cruelty and biding their time through “the rhythm of the seasons” as the world miraculously regenerates itself. Fothergill and Linfield have captured a paradox of mirror images (beauty and cruelty; comedy and pathos) in an endless dance of life and death.