My Octopus Teacher is a 2020 Netflix Original documentary film directed by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed, which documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest. The film won the award for Best Documentary Feature at the 93rd Academy Awards and has been praised for its stunning underwater cinematography and emotional storytelling.
The movie documents a year spent by filmmaker Craig Foster forging a relationship with a wild common octopus in a South African kelp forest. The film has been praised for its stunning underwater cinematography and emotional storytelling.
In 2018, Craig Foster began free-diving in a cold underwater kelp forest at a remote location in False Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa. He started to document his experiences and, in time, met a curious young octopus that captured his attention. The film shows Foster’s growing intimate relationship with the octopus as he follows her around for nearly a year. They form a bond where she plays with Foster and allows him into her world to see how she sleeps, lives, and eats. After mating with a male octopus and producing numerous eggs, she dies naturally while tending to her eggs. Foster describes the effect of this mentorship-like relationship the octopus provided him, teaching him a lesson on the fragility of life and humanity’s connection with nature.
The octopus frequently has to defend herself against pyjama sharks. In one attack upon her, the octopus loses an arm, and retreats to her den to recover, slowly regenerating the arm over three months. In a later shark attack, she shows an incredibly improved creativity to survive, including sticking on the shark’s back. This transfers to Foster creating a deeper bond with his son, Tom Foster, as his son develops as a diver and marine biology student.
- My Octopus Teacher Wikipedia
- My Octopus Teacher, heartwarming nature film, wins best documentary The Guardian