My Octopus Teacher (2020)

The first documentary being used in the DailyView binge watch is the most recent Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Feature, My Octopus Teacher, which is available on Netflix.

Beneath the water is one of the most unbelievable places on the planet. It is amazing what is down there and how much we really do not even know about the world of the seas. Animal species and the like are very much similar to earthly aliens and this documentary does a great job of portraying that concept.

Filmmaker Craig Foster started free diving in a kelp forest outside of South Africa. As he was documenting what he was seeing and doing, he discovered a common octopus that showed curiosity that he found fascinating. He began tracking the octopus and following her along. As he does this, he bonds with the octopus, and she seemed to have the same kind of connection to him.

The adventure of this octopus’ life, which is very short, was amazing. There was an extended scene, almost a chase scene, with a pyjama shark that was utterly edge-of-your-seat intense. I was more into this chase than I was in any of the Fast and the Furious movies. It showed the cleverness of the octopus and how nature is a wild and unpredictable place.

Foster narrates the film and talks about the way the relationship with the octopus changed his life moving forward. He was able to share the experience with his son, Tom. There may have been a few too many times when the voice over was overused, but it worked well for the most part.

The imagery of the ocean is beautiful and every shot beneath the water is exquisite. There are so many unbelievable shots that this team gets that it builds an environment that is a visual masterpiece.

The story of this documentary is one of redemption and connection between two living creatures. It is shot beautifully and is as compelling as any scripted film.

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