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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
As the temperatures were so extreme on the lake (50 - 60 degrees Centigrade, 120 - 140 degrees Fahrenheit), the filmmakers took up residence in an old missionary building. This turned out to be a godsend as they were able to install broadband and all their filming equipment with the added bonus of some natural hot springs beside the base; this was a highly desirable boon as the crew could wash off the thick chalky salty residue that built on their clothes and skin. The nearest town, however, was 7 hours away. See more »
Colourful flamingo documentary with tragedy in abundance
Like MARCH OF THE PENGUINS, THE CRIMSON WING is a nature documentary focused on a single subject, produced by Walt Disney Studios of all people. Thankfully this isn't a twee or sentimental type account of the material, rather a solid, fact-focused documentary packed full of gorgeous photography of the birds.
It turns out that Lesser Flamingos are the birds behind the myth of the Phoenix, and the correlation of their lifecycle to that of the legendary bird rising from the ashes is an engaging one. But this is a film that offers more to the casual viewer, with plenty of tragedy and chaos along the way. There are the inevitably tear-jerking scenes involving the chicks that didn't make it, and such moments are tragic beyond belief.
THE CRIMSON WING offers strong commentary by experienced narrator Mariella Frostrup and a lean, mean, running time which excises extraneous material from the narrative. Best of all, though, it has fantastic cinematography that helps to fuel a colourful, engaging and thorough exploration of the topic.
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