Africa (2013)
7.8/10
335
1 user

Congo 

The rain forest in and around equatorial Africa's Congo basin is the continent's richest and most varied environment. The abundance of food however also means extremely competition for it, ... See full summary »

Director:

Felicity Egerton
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
David Attenborough ... Himself - Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
James Aldred James Aldred ... Himself - Cameraman
Mark MacEwen Mark MacEwen ... Himself - Cameraman
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Storyline

The rain forest in and around equatorial Africa's Congo basin is the continent's richest and most varied environment. The abundance of food however also means extremely competition for it, while plants race to the light, using surprisingly dirty trick to 'cheat' for a spot in one of many stories from the ground to the tower-high canopy. Written by KGF Vissers

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 January 2013 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Discovery Channel See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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User Reviews

 
Animal sagas in the Congo
1 January 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

David Attenborough is nothing short of a national treasure. He may apparently dislike the term, but it is hard to not say that about such a great presenter who has contributed significantly to some of the best programmes (of the documentary genre and overall) the BBC has ever aired/produced.

It is really hard picking favourites, let alone a definite favourite, among what Attenborough has done because he has done so many gems, it is the equivalent of trying to choose your favourite ice cream flavour or your favourite operatic role (for examples) and finding you can't pick. 'Africa' to me though is right up there, so are the likes of both 'Planet Earth' series, 'The Blue Planet', 'Life' and 'Frozen Planet'. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful and deserves everything great that has been said about it.

"Congo" is yet another 'Africa' episode that not only met expectations but also exceeded them. This may sound very clichéd and hyperbolic, being not the first time it's been said by me and it's said a lot by others too, but it is very much describing "Congo".

Once again as with all of Attenborough's work, "Congo" first and foremost is a wonderful looking episode. 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 editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery is pure magic, like a character of its own and majestically photographed. The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.

Like with a vast majority of Attenborough's work and throughout 'Africa', "Congo" continually fascinates and illuminates, in terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown. Because there was such a large breadth and variety of habitats, wildlife, how they adapted to their environment and what was covered, it was so easy to learn so much more about the animals and the Congo itself, going beyond what we knew about Africa before.

Attenborough's narration helps quite significantly too, he clearly knows his stuff and knows what to say and how to say it. He delivers it with his usual richness, soft-spoken enthusiasm and sincerity, never talking down to the viewer and keeping them riveted and wanting to know more. The closing scenes have honesty and humanity.

The animals are big in personality and wide in range, they are a mix of cute and predatory, which helps give any conflict genuine tension, any fun moments their fun and the emotional moments pathos. How they adapt to their surroundings, why they behave the way they do, how nature works and how what the wildlife does affects the environment were all touched upon and made their points subtly, not hammering it home too much (a potential danger with documentaries). It completely succeeds, and brilliantly, at both educating and entertaining.

When it comes to the best scenes, as amazing as those with the hippo, fungi and picathartes are, the highlight is the leaf-folding frog and its story which is something to behold.

Nothing's episodic or dull here, it's utterly transfixing and feels like its own individual story with complex emotions and animals we care for in the same way we would a human. The frog is a perfect example of this.

In conclusion, amazing once again. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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