Review of Waterhole: Africa’s Animal Oasis (2020)

Moving picture, 3.0 hours

Seen in 2021.

Seen with Swedish-language narration on SVT.

Observations in the first nine months at a new, aquifer-fed artificial watering hole in the Mwiba Wildlife Reserve, Tanzania.

Refreshingly open. Instead of presenting only immersively pretty scenes like most nature films, or dubious gizmos like Spy in the Wild (2017), Waterhole gives a broad view. The ugly holes themselves are dug with ordinary JCBs. Ordinary cameras are used to show other ordinary cameras and follow one roving camera operator away from the holes. The animals are beautiful and they appear with captions showing the names of the species, which does not distract from beauty. The ecological observations are relevant and interesting.

The objectives here are education, conservation, and pleasure, in a wiser ecocritical combination than most of the filming done on the Serengeti in earlier productions.

moving picture non-fiction nature series