The South African/Dutch documentary My Octopus Teacher, by Philippa Ehrlich and James Reed, will open the upcoming Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, running March 5-15 2020.
The 89-minute film is part of a curated programme which examines the effect of humankind’s existence on the earth during what is termed the Anthropocene Age.
In 2000, Nobel Prize winner, physicist Paul Crutzen introduced the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe the geological age following the Holocene Epoch. When it was first coined, a broader conversation began about what it means, if it is indeed valid and what kind of imprint our species will leave on our planet over the next 2000 years.
In My Octopus Teacher, when experienced sea diver and director Craig Foster decided to skin-dive in the Cape of Storms, he could not have imagined the intimate relationship he would build with an octopus. The octopus guided him through unexplored sea depths and taught him to navigate himself within a seaweed forest, to engage with the fish and shells. It also taught him that we are not the dominant species on Earth. An unexpected adventure, a story of friendship, a tender lesson about respect, freedom and cosmology.
The other films in the section are:
Anthropocene: The Human Epoch by Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky and Nicholas de Pencier, Canada, 2018, 87΄
Northern Drift by Alexis Destoop, Belgium/Norway, 2020, 57΄
Ghost Strata by Ben Rivers, United Kingdom, 2019, 45΄
iHuman by Tonje Hessen Schei, Norway/Denmark, 2019, 99΄
Frem by Viera Čákanyová, Czech Republic/Slovakia, 2019, 73΄
Earth by Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Austria, 2019, 116΄
Safety 1,2,3 by Julia Gutweniger and Florian Kofler, Austria/Italy, 2019, 72’
Inland (Tierra Adentro) by Mauro Colombo, Panama, 2018, 70΄
Dawson City: Frozen Time by Bill Morrisson, USA, 2016, 120΄