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The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos (2008)

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The mysterious lives of flamingos are captured on film with a birds-eye view of the animals living in Africa.

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Storyline

In a remote and forgotten wilderness, one of nature's last great mysteries unfolds: the birth, life and death of a million crimson-winged flamingos. Against a dramatic backdrop of never-before filmed landscapes, these secretive birds struggle to survive and prevail over danger and fate. This inspiring story, set in the extraordinary 'otherworld' of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, the cradle of humankind, reminds us: here on earth is a universe waiting to be discovered. Written by Anonymous

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One lake, a million birds, an incredible story

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Documentary

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G | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

25 September 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Auf purpurnen Schwingen - Das Geheimnis der Flamingos  »

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Lake Natron is unusual in that a sodium crust forms on its surface because of its proximity to a volcano. The film-makers were fortunate in that the volcano erupted during filming, something it only ever does every 40 years. See more »

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Fascinating and hellish...
4 January 2016 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is the first of a new generation of nature documentaries from Disney and they picked a VERY difficult topic to cover. Instead of the usual locations like jungles or plains, this one is filmed in the most hellish place in Tanzania--near the Kenyan border in a region made toxic to most life by volcanic ash. However, surprisingly, 2.5 million flamingos return to Lake Natron each year- -despite it having a pH of 10.5 and being made up of a mixture of ash and salt. The film follows the flamingos for a year--as the return to do their courtship rituals, lay and hatch eggs and then grow into adulthood. It's all quite lovely with nice cinematography yet Disney chose not to release this to theaters--though it would have been lovely to see on the giant screen.

My only reservations are that kids might be a bit shook up because nature is pitiless and you see a lot of flamingos die. Also, biologists might dislike how the narration often becomes much too prosaic and not exactly scientific. Still, the overall effect is breathtaking and if you see it, try to see it on as large a TV as possible.


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