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2002 (UK)  »

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A snake's-eye view of the most successful predators on the planet...
16 June 2011 | by (Ankara, Turkey) – See all my reviews

BAFTA winning British wildlife documentarian Mike Beynon ("The Really Wild Show") takes a closer look at one of nature's least documented creations, thanks to the extraordinary miniature cameras of Jonathan Watts, in this BBC television special which won Best Factual Moment on the BBC's 2002 TV Moments awards show for its unforgettable shot of a python swallowing an antelope whole.

British institution Sir David Attenborough introduces this study of the snakes' movement on land, sea and even in the air as it hunts and ambushes its prey across the world as far as Snake Island itself, where even snake lovers fear to tread, with blood-chilling re-enactments of the 5 million humans bitten annually and a curious scene showing a race between an African sprinter and a Black Mamba.

A giant African python on the prowl for its biannual meal heads up an amazingly varied cast of hunted and reviled pythons, vipers, fer-de-lance and the like engaged in all manner of exotic behaviour scintillating and sensationally explained by the unmistakable dulcet tones of the most successful naturalist on the planet, whose enthusiasm entices like a snake charmer.

The filmmakers augment the serpentine cinematography of Gavin Thurston and his team with high-speed photography, x-ray imaging and some decidedly dodgy and dated computer graphics as well as the film's raison d'être snakes-eye footage from Jonathan Watts' snake mounted mini-cams, to show why they are the most successful predators on the planet.

"It's one of the great advantages of being a cold-blooded predator."

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