“My Octopus Teacher”

(South Africa)

Metacritic (9/10), Rotten Tomatoes (****+)

Who would have thought that we could learn anything meaningful from an undersea mollusk? Yet, if we’re willing to devote the time and effort to studying the miracles of nature, there’s no telling what we might glean from the experience, both about our subject and ourselves. Such is the experience of filmmaker and oceanic explorer Craig Foster, who spent a year studying and interacting (in a very heartfelt and personal way) with an octopus in an underwater kelp forest off the coast of South Africa. Gorgeously filmed and warmly narrated, this moving documentary from directors Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed shows us a world seldom seen, with insights never imagined about a creature we know of but know virtually nothing about. This is truly a cinematic labor of love, one richly deserving of its Oscar and BAFTA nominations for best documentary feature.