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Documentary

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1997 (UK)  »

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A bird's-eye view of a flying masterpiece which lays claim to the accolade "Eagle"...
16 June 2011 | by (Ankara, Turkey) – See all my reviews

Primetime Emmy nominated British wildlife documentarian John Downer ("Lifesense" & "Supernatural") takes to the skies for a closer look at one of nature's most successful raptors, thanks to the extraordinary aerial photography of Geoffrey Bell, in this BBC television special which includes memorable footage of a Golden Eagle cracking open a tortoise for its chick.

British institution Sir David Attenborough introduces this study of the adaptability of the classic Eagle blueprint of body shape and behaviour to all manner of prey in a variety of environments across the world with 15 featured species in 12 different countries from Russia to Australia, including rare footage of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle.

A golden eagle on the wing across Siberia heads up an amazingly varied cast of gregarious fish eagles, specialised snake eagles, tiny hawk eagles and the like engaged in all manner of highly ritualised behaviour swiftly and incisively explained by the unmistakable dulcet tones of the most adaptable naturalist on the planet, whose enthusiasm takes wing.

The filmmakers augment the high-flying cinematography of Michael W. Richards and his team with miniature cameras mounted on model helicopters and gliders to capture the film's raison d'être footage of power-diving, wiffeling, talon grappling and cart-wheeling, to show why this master of the skies is worthy of the simple accolade "Eagle".

"It's the living testimony to the perfection of a classic design."


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