Human nature?

Last week I went to the Dutch nature movie “Wild”, about nature in the Veluwe, a nature area in the Netherlands. A beautiful film with a great combination of close-ups of wildlife, scenery-shots, drone-footage, and time-lapses. The storyline, often lacking in nature films shown in cinemas, was simple, but effective. They followed several animal families through one calendar year. Spectacular shots are shown of breeding Kingfishers, hunting Red Foxes, ‘flying’ Wild Boar piglets and a beautiful ‘dance’ of Red Deer antlers.

I think it’s well worth watching and a great thing there is a market for cinematic nature movies at this big scale. And then, there are two more to come this year, one about city nature, one on the Wadden Sea.

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Crested Tit on the Veluwe

I have one bit of criticism, however. The voice over was nicely done by Andre van Duin, but his text was very anthropomorphised. We regularly heard about the feelings of the animals or what they were thinking. And it’s not only this movie, and it’s something you often see in big nature movies. Another recent example of this is the French movie about Emperor Penguins, March of the Penguins 2. I wonder why this is needed. I think the stunning and extremely popular BBC nature documentaries like Blue Planet II (and several others) show that people are interested in the biological story behind the images. It doesn’t need to be dumbed down so everybody can understand. Of course, you can add emotion when you show a hunt, but nature is hard. In some cases, animals do show clear signs of emotion, e.g., Elephants who stay with their calves when they die. There is no problem in mentioning that, but please stop projecting human feelings or emotions on animals when it’s not apparent.

But apart from this, if you’re in the Netherlands, I can highly recommend this movie to everybody. It is a beautiful part of the Netherlands and depicted superbly.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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