The Hunt (2015)
8.3/10
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Living with Predators (Conservation) 

In this last episode, visit the front-line of conflict between nature's top predators and the human race. Three-quarters of the world's predator populations are declining: can mankind learn... See full summary »

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... Himself - Narrator (voice)
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In this last episode, visit the front-line of conflict between nature's top predators and the human race. Three-quarters of the world's predator populations are declining: can mankind learn to co-exist with predators like polar bears, tigers, and blue whales?

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Documentary

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TV-PG
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14 August 2016 (USA)  »

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David Attenborough - Narrator: If we can't save the planet's most charismatic predators, what hope is there for the natural world?
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It's conservation time
30 December 2017 | by See 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. To me though, 'The Hunt' is up there with his crowning achievements and one of the best documentaries ever viewed, and as has been said already there are a lot of great ones. It has everything that makes so much of his work so wonderful, hence some of the reiteration of my recent reviews for some of his work (being on a nature documentary binge in my spare time), and deserves everything great that has been said about it. "Living with Predators" may be my least favourite of 'The Hunt' episodes, the other episodes having more stunning images, more emotional impact and more memorable predators, but it addresses a very important and relevant subject and does it brilliantly.

First and foremost, "Living with Predators" looks amazing. 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 with some of the shots being unique for a documentary series, making one forget that it is a series. The editing is always succinct and smooth and the scenery is pure magic, similarly really admired the wide-ranging diversity of the different landscapes rather than restricting it to just one habitat. The music score fits very well, never overly grandiose while never being inappropriate.

Again, like so many Attenborough nature/wildlife documentaries, "Living with Predators" fascinates, teaches, moves, entertains and transfixes. In terms of the facts there was a very good mix of the known ones and the unknown, some facts being familiar to us while going into detail about conservation and the animals.

Throughout one is reminded that the aim is not to show gratuitous blood and gut to empathise that this is predators we're talking about. Instead the point is made that hunts do fail and the odds are against these predators, doing it without hammering it home or laying it on too thick. "Living with Predators", like the previous six episodes, does a fine job with this aspect.

"Living with Predators" portrayal of conservation is important and relevant, and not done in an over-rosy or heavy-handed way while still making its point.

It is expected for Attenborough's narration to help significantly, one isn't disappointed in "Living with Predators" or throughout 'The Hunt'. 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 "behind the scenes/making of" scenes too gave some humanity to the series and allowed us to get to know those behind the camera as well as in front.

Found myself really caring for what they're told and the wildlife. Like much of Attenborough/BBC's other work, "Living with Predators" doesn't feel like an episodic stringing of scenes, but instead like the best nature documentaries it feels like its own story and journey, 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, a great final episode to an incredible series. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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