Review of 'My Octopus Teacher'

my_octopus_teacher.jpg Craig Foster finds himself thinking about his life as a filmmaker and a father when he strikes up an unlikely relationship with an octopus in the waters off the coast of Cape Town in South Africa. Returning to the waters every day he gains the trust of the octopus and learns of her incredible intelligence as she goes about her daily life constantly on the search for food and alert to the threat of shark attack. He learns to value the fleeting moments we have in life and appreciate the family he has long neglected.

Having been told how the film ends (I won't spoil it for you) I was slightly reluctant to watch this film but was very glad I did. This is a genuinely engaging, emotional film showing a man establishing a relationship with a wild animal and learning about himself in the process. Perhaps a bit over sentimental it is nonetheless fascinating to see how the two interact with one another. Much is said about the importance of all animals in the kelp forest Foster visits though the focus here is primarily on the octopus whose temperament very much echoes our own.

This film looks beautiful with incredible shots of the undersea world that most never experience with crystal clear images and action sequences that are truly amazing. How the filmmakers managed to film this is a mystery and yet they did, creating a film that has a very real narrative and is emotionally engaging.

“My Octopus Teacher” does feel a bit on the long side but this is not a film of action, it is one of contemplation and reflection. Sit back and soak it all in.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2021-07-31

Directed by: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed

Studio: A Netflix Original Documentary

Year: 2020

Length: 85 minutes

Genre: Documentary