My Octopus Teacher (2020)
September 13, 2020 12:11 PM - Subscribe

A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.
posted by PenDevil (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I watched this tonight because of your post here, and I loved it. It was filmed beautifully, and the underwater sounds were so clear. I'm thinking specifically of the sound of her suckers on his fingers when he gently extracts his hand so he can surface. And the sound of rocks and shells falling against each other.

It was more stressful than I expected, and I watched about five full minutes of it literally from between my fingers. I don't know that there was any larger statement intended or made, but it was magical watching Foster's relationship with her evolve.
posted by gladly at 8:27 PM on September 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

ok, this is kinda silly, but; I want to watch this, but a lot of these befriending-an-animal stories end with the animal dying, and I'm as bummed out by the world already as it is. Is the octopus ok at the end? do the stressful 5 minutes at least end well?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:31 PM on September 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

Okay, look away if you don’t want to know!

So, octopus only live 1-2 years. The five stressful minutes end okay, but the doc does end like Charlotte’s Web.
posted by gladly at 4:37 AM on September 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

I thought this was really beautiful. Definitely worth watching.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 3:52 PM on September 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

We were deciding on a family movie to watch last night and were intrigued by the trailer for this but ultimately ended up watching the WWE magic wrestling mask movie (it wasn't terrible). I'll put in a good word for this if we get the chance to watch a movie next weekend.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 4:59 PM on September 14, 2020

I watched this last night and it was really lovely. The sound design and cinematography, the pacing, and the story itself were beautiful and compelling. An artist, an explorer, a man of evident integrity, broken by years of long hard work, goes home to the stormy coast of South Africa to heal. Daily, he enters the cold rough water and opens to the experience of the kelp forest and the ocean floor. He literally and figuratively immerses himself in this endeavor for almost a full year, bringing humility, dedication and incredible sensitivity to his observation of the environment and a special relationship with one octopus.

I have just started reading Other Minds so this was particularly on point for me.

Anyway, watch it. You won't regret it.
posted by 6thsense at 4:56 AM on October 10, 2020

Maggie Mae Fish takes the movie to task over on youtube, calling it the "BEST Horror Movie Ever!"
posted by zenon at 5:58 PM on October 15, 2020 [3 favorites]

Watched half an hour of this drivel as it was recommended by a friend of mine. Couldn't put my finger exactly on why I didn 't like it. Watched Maggie Mae's video afterwards and she worded it perfectly.
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:06 AM on November 1, 2020

I quite enjoyed this movie. It was deeper than I expected it to be, and it was really a beautiful film. Maggie Mae isn't being entirely honest in her review about how events play out, and it seems she has an axe to grind so maybe actually watch the whole movie if you're so inclined.
posted by hippybear at 8:43 PM on November 25, 2020

I'm not going to watch a 28 minute video to see why someone didn't like a movie.

This movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at. Breathtaking, even. But I felt angry and sad, especially when it ended. I disliked how whatsisname (the guy) was always making sad faces and "I'm going to cry" faces for the camera. I really felt he was exploiting this pure octopus to show how capable he was of such feelings, such emotion. I really disliked him following a pajama shark around twice as it searched for the octopus instead of helping. "Oh I would be disrupting the chain of life, so I just have to come down here every day and interact with an octopus and hope things happen to it that are worthy of me filming it". Fuck that noise. Chase the shark away! It will find something else to eat, not the octopus that you are filming daily and forging a relationship with and doing things to try to get it to earn your trust, thereby putting it in dangerous situations. Did anyone else scream "Help it!!!!" on the day it was dying and all of the other fish and things were pulling at it and ripping pieces off of it?? Like he couldn't even brush some of those black spiny star things off of it and let it die in peace without pain and agony? I fucking hate that guy. I don't even want to know his name, and will not bother learning it.
posted by the webmistress at 12:14 PM on April 22, 2021

The camera work was beautiful. But the filmmaker is impossibly pretentious, it felt like he was having an emotional affair with a sea creature!
posted by vasi at 6:39 PM on May 1, 2021

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