Nature (1982) IMDb

documentary series

Entry:

“Snow Monkeys” (2014) IMDb

Viewing

Seen in 2016.

The Swedish version starring Henrik Ekman.

Subject

Framed primarily as the story of the child Hiro and pack leader Kuro in a 160-strong pack of Japanese macaques, in Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano.

Commentary

The partly very unnatural environments are telling. These monkeys are clearly protected—at least from their natural predators—and accustomed to a human presence. I assume the story has been cleaned up, but it's beautifully filmed. The local species of monkey makes a good symbol of primitive humanity and our link to nature, as they are used in Baraka (1992).

documentary episode

Entry:

“The Gathering Swarms” (2014) IMDb

Viewing

Seen in 2018.

Subject

Large flocks.

Commentary

The narration is surprisingly poor for the BBC, but then again, this is John “Spy in the Wild” Downer at work. The theme music sounds like a knock-off of TRON: Legacy (2010). Still, the subject and cinematography are interesting enough.

documentary episode nature

Entry:

“Mystery Monkeys of Shangri-La” (2015)

Viewing

Seen in 2018.

Commentary

One of the camera operators gets to be a star commentator, despite and presumably because of his profound ignorance of the subject. He actually intersperses his inane attributions of human sentiments to the monkeys with exclamations like “Is amazing!” With an expert commentator it would have been good.

documentary episode