“My Octopus Teacher,” the tale of an eight-limbed creature and her human companion, has won the Oscar for best documentary.
According to South African filmmaker Craig Foster,” My Octopus Teacher” began as a personal video project ten years ago to rekindle his connection with nature by observing an inquisitive female mollusk while free-diving near Cape Town.
He filmed their interactions and became increasingly dazzled by how she could fashion tools from shells, furl herself in ribbons of kelp to avoid detection, outwit a a pajama shark and adjust her hunting techniques to envelop crabs, lobsters and fish. Viewers even see her play.
“This really is a tiny personal story that played out in a sea forest at the very top of Africa. But, on a more universal level, I hope that it provided a glimpse of a different kind of relationship between human beings and the natural world,” Ehrlich said on the telecast.
Foster has said his relationship with the octopus taught him about life’s fragility and our connection with nature and even helped him become a better father.
Plenty of fans have since endorsed the documentary on social media;
Loved that film! Cried my eyes out but what an amazing record of that lovely creature’s life ♥️♥️♥️
— Wiley (@Purrrr13Wiley) April 26, 2021
This is such good news and great for our incredible talent we have at home going global. Well My Octopus Teacher!!!
— HatmannG (@HatmannG) April 26, 2021
The film became a sleeper hit, earning a Directors Guild of America nomination, then an Oscar nod, a BAFTA award, and was named top documentary at the Producers Guild of America Awards.