Sep 7, 2022

Into the Okavango (2018)

Into the Okavango is a 2018 American National Geographic documentary film written, directed and produced by Neil Gelinas. The film was predominantly shot in Angola and Botswana. It was released on 22 April 2018 and gained critical acclaim for the portrayal of wildlife. The documentary film was also screened in a handful of international film festivals and also won several awards and nominations.

A passionate conservation biologist brings together a river bushman fearful of losing his past and a young scientist uncertain of her future on an epic, four-month expedition across three countries, through unexplored and dangerous landscapes, in order to save the Okavango Delta, one of our planet's last pristine wildernesses.
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

K: Hello friends! Today we have an incredibly beautiful journey through the Okavango from National Geographic Documentary Films. With a team of modern-day explorers, we saw the chronicles of a four-month expedition that ran through 3 countries - Angola, Botswana and Namibia. When I started watching this film, I had no idea what its creators would have to face. Their work deserves great respect, as the expedition turned out to be incredibly difficult. They were able not only to explore the river, but also to discover new species of animals. Also, they managed to make this film incredibly touching. For Steve Boyes, this is his life's work and for Adjany Costa, I think this expedition was a life-changing event. 

F: √Čie! This 2018 documentary is my introduction to the Okavango. I had no idea what the Okavango was and how majestic and precious it is with all its fauna and flora. The journey of Steve Boyes and his team of explorers begins in Angola, at one of the sources of the Okavango Delta waters - the Cuito river. Over 95 percent of the water that flows to the delta originates from rainfall in the Angolan highlands. As you pointed out, the first weeks of the expedition brought a series of problems that the team had not expected. The main problem being that there was no water for their canoes to move easily. With the help of harnesses, everyone had to make a huge effort overland to move them, not knowing how many more miles they would have to travel before finally finding water. They were immediately faced with the possibility of being lost and forgotten in a place vast miles from civilization. What we learn from this documentary immediately, is that we have to prepare very well and imagine 1001 scenarios of things that could go wrong. Fires, hippos, mines, holes in the canoes, and so on.

I am always suspicious of these wildlife documentaries and find it hard to believe that the life and death situations are as true as we are led to believe. I believe that National Geographic always has a safety net ready and an invisible crew behind the trees with hot meals ready. In the case of Into the Okavango everything seemed authentic to me.

Bonefire and Stars GIF
The wilderness of Angola
K: I love watching films about wildlife. Honestly, I would dream of one day being in the Okavango Delta to see with my own eyes this variety of birds and wild animals, the bottomless starry sky. And, of course, taste this purest water. With bated breath, I watched a flock of elephants pass by the researchers, how zealously hippos guard their territory. I would like to note that the cinematography of this film is distinguished by its insane beauty. And, of course, I was angry at the amount of scorched forest. I understand that a settlement that has not met other people for 40 years needs to live on something, but why are they not moved to a place more adapted to life? Where there are roads, a doctor and a teacher, they crave to have so much. After all, by burning the land, they themselves are destroying the ecosystem.

F: I was really surprised by this village/tribe that they discovered. Everyone spoke Portuguese, so I could go and live there! They had no visitors for 40 years? That's really hard to believe! I also hadn't realized that they had been responsible for the fires we observed. It's a kind of documentary where Krasnaya and I are constantly talking to each other and I must have missed that detail.

The cinematography is really impressive and it makes me wonder - how the hell do they manage to record and follow a crocodile underwater?! I really wonder what techniques they use to capture such wildlife scenery.

This documentary is part of the Okavango Wilderness Project that has incredibly discovered 26 species new to science, more than 75 species potentially new to science, and more than 130 species previously unknown in Angola.

Crocodile Swimming GIF
Is it with a stick and a GoPro?
F: Steve Boyes' knowledge of nature is commendable and impressive and what he has done here is a great service to humanity and we can only hope that the governments of Angola, Botswan and Namibia will do as promised to ensure permanent and sustainable protection for the Great Okavango Basin. The Okavango Delta is home to a major population of elephants, lions, cheetahs, wild dogs and hundreds of species of birds. It is also the main source of water for millions of people. If you like nature documentaries, this one is highly recommended to watch. You will also learn some important things about Angola, especially how it is not recommended at all to go for walks in the savannah. Angola remains one of the most heavily mined countries in the world, with over 73 million square meters of contaminated land and over 1100 known and suspected minefields. Millions of landmines and other unexploded bombs are still scattered throughout the country - the legacy of over 40 years of conflict. I wonder how many animals have died because of humanity's top stupidity...

K: In conclusion, I want to say that this film is definitely worth watching. It leaves a feeling of hope that there are still caring explorers in the world who are ready to dedicate themselves to the work of saving and protecting one of the largest freshwater wetlands in southern Africa. 

Dead Melman GIF
Melmaaaaaaaaan! No!
Freddy's Score: 78/100
Krasnaya's Score: 80/100



Our blog is updated every day at 21:00.

No comments:

Post a Comment