Okavango: River of Dreams is a stunningly photographed nature documentary about the ecosystem in and around the Okavango in Africa. Read the rest of our Sundance Film Festival coverage here.
A lioness survives a skirmish on the hunt, gets injured, left for dead, and must learn to hunt and protect her cubs on her own, with a broken ankle. An unusual bird with oversized feet walks across water on lily pads. A bird swoops down to the water and grabs a fish at surface-level with its feet. A storm of catfish arrives, jumping in and out of the water, causing violent vibrations that shake up nutrients. These are the fascinating and quiet observations that make up Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s Okavango: River of Dreams, the story of the ecosystem centred around the fourth largest river system in southern Africa.
Sweeping aerial shots provide a sense of scale; underwater shots reveal the river’s food web. All of this is gorgeously photographed, often showing how different species interact with each other, and not just as predator and prey. Voice-over provides context and explains how the wildlife relate to one another. It’s a stunning piece of work that reminds you of the wonder and beauty of nature, and serves as a tacit call-to-action to protect this remarkable ecosystem.