Land of the bears / Terre des ours

3D Documentary

Director: Guillaume Vincent
Country of origin: France
Release Year: 2014
Runtime: 87 minutes
Music: Simin and Fabien Cali, Cécile Corbel

"Land of the Bears" takes us to Kamchatka, the peninsula of three hundred volcanoes in the far east of Siberia. Bears, there can be about twenty thousands of them here, took a liking to this wild world where man would struggle to survive. Customs of these fascinating animals, which due to their size, strength and the fact that they always do their own thing became a symbol of Russia, are still very poorly known to man. Although the action of the film takes place in the country of Putin, "Land of the Bears" is by no means a political picture. It is a nature film, for spectators of all ages to please their eyes with spectacular shots of powerful animals in their natural environment. We watch breathtaking images of bears waking up from their winter sleep, bathing in icy streams, wandering in search of food. Besides visually stunning shots, their life is described by the narration, in the original version read by Marion Cotillard, and songs by Cécile Corbel, who was previously responsible for the music for the Japanese animation "The Secret World of Arrietty."

"Land of the Bears" may remind some of "The Bear" by Jean-Jacques Arnaud, unlike there, however, the director Guillaume Vincent turns away from strident fictionalizing and does not project the human point of view onto the animals, instead tries to understand - as much as  possible - their own perspective. The film is Vincent's first documentary created in 3D, he is the author of the film "Beny: Back to the Wild" that tells the story of a Bonobo. 3D technology allows us to come close to the world of the bears, even though, in natural conditions bears would never let us come that close. It is apparent in the film that these creatures are not very social. In an organic way, their lives are ruled by the rhythm of nature, whose harsh conditions toughen their characters. The only true solidarity, which we can see among them, is the one between a mother and the young ones, and the "Land of the Bears" shows it with great tenderness.

Adam Kruk