Ten years in the making, “My Octopus Teacher” began as a personal video project by South African filmmaker Craig Foster to rekindle his connection to nature by observing a curious female mollusk snorkeling near Cape Town.
He filmed their interactions and became increasingly dazzled by how she could craft tools from seashells, wrap in kelp ribbons to avoid detection, outwit a pajama shark, and adjust her techniques. for wrapping crabs, lobsters and fish. Viewers even see her perform.
The lifespan of a female octopus of the type encountered by Foster is only about 18 months. But that was enough time for him and his fellow directors Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed to be deeply impacted by her.
“It’s really a personal little story that took place in a marine forest high up in Africa. But, on a more universal level, I hope it gave a glimpse of a different kind of relationship between human beings and the natural world. ”Ehrlich said on television.
Foster said his relationship with the octopus taught him about the fragility of life and our connection to nature, and even helped him become a better father.
Reed thanked Foster at the ceremony, saying, “He kind of showed us if a man can form a friendship with an octopus, it kind of makes you wonder what’s possible.”
The film became a dormant success, earning a Directors Guild of America nomination, then an Oscar, a BAFTA award, and was named Best Documentary at the Producers Guild of America Awards.
Many famous fans approved of the sweet story on social media: “I really recommend this movie,” Amy Schumer wrote on Instagram. Brittany Snow rang on Schumer’s message that she “never cried again,” and Justin Theroux added, “I agree. I was in tears. Goodbye squids.”
Zach Braff added that the film “will cleanse your brain’s palate of overwhelming terror, boredom and melancholy that it may or may not feel.”
Ehrlich said she was thrilled with the response, especially when iconic naturalist Jane Goodall said her favorite movies were “The Lord of the Rings” and “My Octopus Teacher”.
For the Oscar, “My Octopus Teacher” beat “Collective”, “Crip Camp”, “The Mole Agent” and “Time”.
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