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Am a big fan of nature documentaries, especially the work of David Attenborough. Having been recommended 'Wild Russia' and loving Russian scenery and music, but with not much knowledge of the wildlife, it was instantly put down on my list as a must see. Also heard nothing but praise for it, so that further sparked interest.
'Wild Russia' is as good as others have said and there is not much to add, it is really one of the best documentaries personally seen and most of the time it actually feels much more than that. Throughout it's an awe-inspiring, utterly transfixing experience where one forgets they're watching a documentary and instead feeling like they're watching art. This may sound like extreme hyperbole, but to me 'Wild Russia' is completely deserving of its praise and even deserving of more
It is hard knowing when to start with the praise. 'Wild Russia' for starters looks amazing, reasons enough to make book a trip to Russia. It is gorgeously filmed, done in a completely fluid and natural, sometimes intimate (a great way of connecting even more with the animals), way and never looking static. In fact much of it is remarkably cinematic. The scenery and habitats are some of the most breath-taking personally seen anywhere, whether in visual media and real life. The rich colours just leap out. The music here is a remarkably good fit, throughout it not only complements the visuals but enhances them and there is an authentic flavour to it.
What of the narrative and information aspects? Can't fault 'Wild Russia' in this aspect either. The narration has a great well-balanced mix of facts that will be familiar to the viewer and others that will induce the right amount of surprise. In short, it's just fascinating, informative and thoughtful.
All the six episodes managed to intrigue and illuminate, and there is a freshness to the material, not feeling derivative of anything. The narration, both in the English and German versions (the former being a little more expressive to me), is delivered beautifully, there's an enthusiasm and precision about the delivery and it never feels preachy.
The wildlife themselves are quite unique and a wonderful mix of the adorable and the dangerous, and one actually finds they're rooting for them in exactly the same way they would a human character. 'Wild Russia' contains a good deal of suspense and emotional impact. There are some scenes where one is amazed that they managed to be filmed in the first place.
It doesn't feel like six episodes either, and none of the episodes feel episodic or repetitive. 'Wild Russia' instead feels like a collection of six individual stories with real, complex emotions and conflicts and animal characters developed in a way a human character would in a film but does it better than several.
Overall, utterly mesmerising. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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