“My Octopus Teacher” is a Netflix documentary which follows the exploration and unusual friendship of filmmaker Craig Foster with a wild octopus.
Craig was facing depression when he decided to put his career on hold to sort things out in his life. He went diving daily to a kelp forest off a coast of the Cape Of Storms in Capetown, South Africa. It was there where he made a unique bond with a common octopus that taught him many lessons for his life and the hidden beauty of the natural sea world.
The film’s masterful way of advocating for sea preservation
71% of the earth’s surface is water. That’s a huge living space for a vast diversity of species, both known and unknown to man. My Octopus Teacher perfectly captures this hidden world in a way that the audience can relate to. It shows us a world that is home to such magnificent creatures and untold stories of boldness and resilience.
This film also captivates its viewers with brilliant cinematography. One is moved to think that such a world should be protected and kept away from hostile human influences. As a matter of fact, Craig Foster, in his effort to preserve the natural dynamics of the kelp forest, insists not to intervene in any of the natural actions of the species he witnessed. Even at times when his octopus friend was in great danger from Pyjama sharks, which is known to be an aggressive predator. Craig keeps his composure not to cross boundaries saying that “there’s a line that can’t be crossed”.
Craig wanted to learn from his octopus friend and the surroundings of the kelp forest as natural as possible. With little or no interference from him. This was his way of acknowledging that he was only a visitor to this world and must respect its natural laws. This is the same guiding principle of the Sea Change Project, a community of media and science professionals that Craig co-founded, which is dedicated to connecting people to the wild through incredible stories backed by scientific knowledge. No politics, no activism, no finger-pointing, just brilliant story telling about their wonderful experiences and impressive productions are enough to surely gather sympathizers for their advocacy.
My Octopus Teacher reviews and film awards
IMDb shows this Netflix documentary having an average rating of 8.1/10 and has an audience score of 92% in Rotten Tomatoes. Critics share a general sentiment of amazement regarding the film’s skillful exposé of the kelp forest and its inhabitants. Many have also expressed sudden interests in freediving and octopuses.
The film “My Octopus Teacher” has won at least 19 international awards including Best Documentary Feature in the Academy Awards (Oscar) and Best Documentary in the British Academy Film Awards.