My Octopus Teacher
(What the octopus taught me, subtitled VO).
South Africa, 85 min, 2020. Off the Fence and The Sea Change Project.
After years of daily swimming in the frozen ocean off the southern tip of Africa, Craig Foster finds an unexpected teacher: a young octopus with unusual curiosity.
By visiting its den and following its movements for months, he eventually gains the animal's trust and they develop a bond never seen before between humans and wild animals. As the little octopus shares the secrets of his world, Craig undergoes an incredible mental and physical transformation. His body becomes immune to the cold of the depths, and each plunge without outside help lasts minutes. The octopus shows him things that have never been recorded by science or on film: how he uses tools to defend himself from a shark attack and the myriad ways he invents to move across the seabed.
My Octopus Teacher is a memorable film, one that redefines our understanding of the creatures with whom we share our world.
Discussion with Pippa Ehrlich, co-director of the documentary and Fernando González Sitges