Following the footsteps of movies like: The Fox and the Child, The Bear, Winged Migration, Microcosmos and The March of the Penguins, another nature documentary has hit the theaters yesterday. The title is "The Crimson Wing: mistery of the flamingos" (Les Ailes Pourpres: Le Mystère Des Flamants) and is directed by Matthew Aeberhard and Leander Ward.
As you may have understood the subject of the documentary are the flamingos, the long-necked pink birds. In particular the flamingos of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, one of the most beautiyful places on earth but also an ecosystem recently endangered by the project of building a soda ash plant, a project that if take place will destroy the only successful breeding site of the Lesser Flamingo , killing seventy five percent of the world's flamingoes.
The official synops says:
Look not to the horizon when the world is at your feet.
In a remote and forgotten wilderness, one of nature's last great mysteries unfolds; the birth, life and death of a million crimson-winged flamingos. Against a dramatic backdrop of never-before filmed landscapes, these secretive birds struggle to survive and prevail over danger and fate. This inspiring story, set in the extraordinary "other world" of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania, the cradle of humankind, reminds us: here on earth is a universe waiting to be discovered.
What's interesting is that this movie is the first production of DysneyNATURE, a new film label of The Walt Disney Company, announced on April 21, 2008 whose releases will consist of big screen nature documentaries. Six other movies are currently in development or production:
- Earth -- is an award-winning natural history film from the BBC Natural History Unit, released in cinemas internationally in 2007 and due to be released in the US on 22 April 2009. The British version was narrated by Patrick Stewart and the US version is to be narrated by James Earl Jones.
- Oceans -- Nearly three-quarters of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans. French co-directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud have set out to capture the full expanse of these waters that have played such a crucial and constant role in the history and sustenance of man. The deep and abundant oceans are places of great mysteries and dangers that this film will dare to explore. Domestic release 2010
- Orangutans: One Minute to Midnight – Directed by Charlie Hamilton James and produced by Frédéric Fougea, this film tells the true story of a six-year-old male orangutan and his little sister, who must take an incredible journey to find a home and a family. Worldwide release 2010
- Big Cats – Audiences will get to meet three mothers – a lioness, a leopard and a cheetah – as they explore their world on the great plains of Africa. Co-directed by Keith Scholey and Alastair Fothergill and produced by Alix Tidmarsh, this film will show how these magnificent animals survive on their power and their cunning, while they protect and teach their cubs the ways of the wild. Worldwide release 2011
- Naked Beauty: A Love Story that Feeds the Earth – In this film, nature is ready for its close-up … a very close-up, as exacting macro photography takes us to the realm of flowers and their pollinators. Acclaimed filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg introduces us to a bat, a hummingbird, a butterfly and a bumblebee, demonstrating their intricate interdependence and how life on earth depends on the success of these determined, diminutive creatures. Naked Beauty is produced by Blacklight Films and Alix Tidmarsh. Worldwide release 2011
- Chimpanzee -- Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield co-direct this intimate look at the world of chimpanzees, with Christophe Boesch, head of the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, serving as principal consultant and Alix Tidmarshas producer. To be shot over three years in the tropical jungles of the Ivory Coast and Uganda, Chimpanzee will help us better understand this exceptionally intelligent species. Worldwide release 2012.
Click here to explore DysneyNATURE website, it's full of info and images about those projects.
(Photo credit: Shah Brothers © Disney Enterprises, Inc)
Going back to The Crimson Wing, it is narrated by James Earl Jones too and features images that will make you hold your breath... Look at the following examples... I'm really looking forward to see this movie!
Further reading about the danger pending over lake Natron here:
Project feared to spell Lake Natron’s and flamingo’s doom @ Safarilands.org