Review of Destination Wild: Wild Russia (2018)
Seen in 2020.
Not to be confused with the German Wild Russia (2008) or Russia’s Wild Sea (2018). My favourite part is the one on Lake Baikal seals craftily building pockets of air beneath the ice, leaching oxygen and eventually boring a hole to the surface. This part is very well shot, whereas most other sequences are quite ordinary, dominated by other charismatic megafauna and predation. What sounds like the piercing cry of the red-tailed hawk, the greatest cliché of nature-film sound editing, adorns the intro. There is too little info on how the Siberian forest itself works. The English-language narrator, Liam Teeling, is the kind of guy who normally voices commercials and ruggedly manly WW2 documentaries: He is out of his depth here talking about “Russ-ia”, pronounced as if it were still the land of the Russ. He doesn’t have a very good script. For example, he talks about the Caspian Sea shrinking in contrast to Lake Baikal, but in fact, Lake Baikal was also shrinking and for similar reasons.