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Freshwater Assassins (1947)

Assassins d'eau douce (original title)
In a freshwater pond, various aquatic creatures try to eat others in order to avoid being eaten themselves.

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Storyline

In a freshwater pond, it's "eat or be eaten." A dragonfly larva eats a midge; a water beetle larva eats a damselfly larva. Snail larvae grow. A beetle larva eats one. Up close, we see the eating apparatus of a damselfly larva -- with a retractable hook beneath mandibles. Some creatures bite and chew, others suck. A water beetle larva holds on to its prey, injects a poison that turns the victim's insides to soup, and then sucks it dry. We watch one eat a damselfly larvae and then another water beetle larva. Some have ingenious ways to camouflage themselves, like the water scorpion, and to breathe air while hunting under water. Caddisfly larvae hide in debris, then eat. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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21 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Freshwater Assassins  »

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(Western Electric Sound System)

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1.37 : 1
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Featured in Ballet aquatique (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Okay, but not among the filmmaker's best
23 March 2016 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

"Assassins d'eau douce" or "Freshwater Assassins" is a black-and-white documentary that runs for slightly under half an hour and it is one of filmmaker Jean Painlevé's longer works. There is no denying he was a pioneer when it comes to the genre of animal documentary and he made this one here shortly after World War II. It is in french like his other works, so if you really want to understand every bit of it, you may need a good pair of subtitles. I personally have some of his work and found this one not too interesting. But that is just subjective as the animals depicted in here, mostly water creatures, but no fish, aren't something I am too interested in. Still there are a couple decent video recordings as usual with Painlevé, so it's not a failure at all. It is also pretty brutal again in terms of animal violence among each other.


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