Today we calculate the development of a city by how many skyscrapers it has. Our enjoyment depends upon how many shopping malls, eateries, and restaurant chains a city has. The model which Times square has set is being followed by the whole world. We get mesmerized when we see such a buffet of brands in one place. Today the youth dreams of visiting the place and having a piece of the glory. The phenomenon of Modernity has taken over cities like New York, Paris, and Shanghai. The big players and even the citizens consider it to be a benchmark of prosperity and affluence.
We surround ourselves in an artificial ecosystem and we keep going further away from nature. The generations which are coming also do not understand what nature can give. It is a false assumption that we can create anything.
Some things can only be created when we are in a symbiotic relationship with nature. And My Octopus Teacher just reiterates that theory. This documentary has been directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed. It follows the life of Craig Foster, who started diving in the year 2010 and developed an unlikely relationship with an Octopus.
‘My Octopus Teacher’ Summary
Craig Foster was having some downtime in Simon’s Town in Cape Peninsula. He had spent his childhood in this picturesque home. He goes there to find a lost motivation. He starts to free dive in the cold and turbulent Atlantic waters. He spots an Octopus and keenly observes him. It becomes a routine for him to come every day and meet this octopus friend of his. Strangely enough, the octopus starts acknowledging his presence around her. She develops a bond with Craig Foster. There is a kind of trust which both build. She sucks his fingers and body and seems to be totally unhinged by his presence. Craig himself is amused by the fact that how can a wild animal display such evolved emotions. For a year he goes almost every day to visit his friend. He keenly observes her very intelligent hunting strategies and how she is able to get the better of a Pyjama shark, who wants to hunt her down.
Words cannot describe how beautiful these moments have been captured. Footages were captured by Craig Foster himself. And later Roger Horrocks directed the cinematography and added more footage to the earlier raw ones, to create the whole narrative. It almost seems like an impossible task to capture such beauty in the camera. You just cannot imagine the amount of hard work put in by these artists behind lenses. My Octopus Teacher leaves you spellbound. You witness the magnanimity of nature and a world that feels like an alien land. One just fails to understand how such an intricate web of life exists. You are awestruck at the possibilities of nature.
We are not Visitors Here!
Craig Foster resorted to nature to revive himself out of an abyss. He felt that he was not being a good father. He was losing himself. He was taught the most beautiful aspects of life by a wild animal. The most important thing which Craig says is that he learned that we are not visitors here, we are a part of the process. Only if the human race understands this we won’t be so reckless in our approach. Economy, business, materialism, etc is not capable of sustaining lives.
Sitting in our air-conditioned homes we have forgotten how it felt like to sit beside a river and feel that cold breeze. We have forgotten how it felt like walking under a canopy of trees on a hot summer day. We have forgotten how it felt like listening to the sound of the forest on a silent night. Surrounded by all the amenities and luxury, maybe we have forgotten how to live.
My Octopus Teacher is a 2020 Documentary film streaming on Netflix.
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