Yellowstone: Battle for Life (BD)
From the makers of The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, with an unprecedented production budget of $25 million, comes the epic story of life on Earth. Five years in production, over 2000 days in the field, using 40 cameramen filming across 200 locations, shot entirely in high definition, this is the ultimate portrait of our planet. A stunning television experience that captures rare action, impossible locations and intimate moments with our planet's best-loved, wildest and most elusive creatures. From the highest mountains to the deepest rivers, this blockbuster series takes you on an unforgettable journey through the daily struggle for survival in Earth's most extreme habitats. Planet Earth takes you to places you have never seen before, to experience sights and sounds you may never experience anywhere else.
Like another of David Attenborough's epic BBC documentary series, Planet Earth, Yellowstone, narrated by the charismatic Peter Firth, links seemingly disparate elements in ecosystems to teach interconnectedness and wilderness ethics. The BBC is still at the forefront of nature documentaries that promote environmentalism, and this one marks yet another milestone in progressive ecological education through film. Taking a wide view of America's first national park, Yellowstone is demarcated episodically by season, beginning with winter and ending with the following autumn. Each show combines footage of the flora and fauna in its chosen habitat. Yet rather than dramatizing the narrative through anthropomorphizing animals, the film achieves its drama through the detailed geographical and geological information about why and how Yellowstone became such a spectacular location. The first episode, "Winter," opens with a wolf pack prowling the snow for weak elk and proceeds to show stunning, rare clips of red foxes, river otters, and bison foraging or hunting to survive in the frigid climate. All these animals merely populate a scene explained as a set of valleys carved by weather. One sees massive elk and pronghorn antelope migrations from aerial views. In "Summer" one gets a much-needed dose of baby animal footage to balance all that starvation and ice. Wolf pups and bear cubs frolicking in streams will please any viewer. Flowers bloom around glacial lakes, otter and buffalo courtships unfold, and other mammals lazily bask in the sunshine before wildfire season. "Autumn" focuses less on animals than on volcanic action in the 20,000 acres of wild space. In all, a holistic picture emerges, one in which weather and geography are crucial to life. While Yellowstone only briefly covers the impact of tourism on the park, it clearly indicates that wilderness must remain wild for such delicate balance to exist. --Trinie Dalton