New Dutch wildlife film, review

The makers of Dutch wildlife film De Nieuwe Wildernis have made a new film, about wildlife in the south-west of the Netherlands: Holland – Natuur in de Delta. This video is the trailer. Like all the other videos in this blog post, it is by the makers of the film.

The film shows nature in the Scheldt and Rhine rivers delta. In the past 2,000 years, humans have made many changes in this region: to prevent floods, for agriculture, etc. Some of these changes have harmed wildlife. Now, the film says, some Dutch are restoring some of this damage; allowing species like beaver and sea eagle, which had been away for a long time, to return.

The new film started in the cinemas on 24 September 2015. I was at the premiere.

The first image of the film is two lines of poetry by Hendrik Marsman, on the rivers in the Netherlands.

Actress Carice van Houten and actor Bram van der Vlugt do the vocal explanation to the wildlife footage.

This is a 27 November 2014 video interview, in English, with cameraman Paul Edwards.

For the film Holland, natuur in de Delta, Paul Edwards was in the Biesbosch national park for months; filming a white-tailed eagle nest and great crested grebes.

This video, in English, is called Making of – Holland, Natuur in de Delta – Beaver scouting.

This video is about beavers as well.

So this this video.

And this video.

This video, in English, is called Making of – Holland, Natuur in de Delta – [white-tailed] Eagle Hunting.

This video is about a white-tailed eagle nest.

The film has five main characters: the sea eagle; the beaver; the hare; the scarce large blue butterfly; and the three-spined stickleback.

In the parts about sticklebacks in the film, it gets clear how human measures against flooding have made problems for wildlife. Sticklebacks are born in fresh water, but as they get older, they migrate to the sea. When the adult sticklebacks want to spawn, they have to make the long journey again, now in the reverse direction: from sea to rivers to small ditches and pools again.

Some of the stickleback footage in the film was recorded near Texel island, On their journey they meet marine life, like jellyfish and seaweed pipefishes. Then, the small fish have to pass anti-flooding locks with strong currents, to which they did not get used in their millions of years of evolution. Some sticklebacks do not manage to pass the lock. The others who do manage meet other fish, like zander, and, in small streams, brook lamprey. Finally, they arrive at places where the males can make nests for spawning.

This is a hare video.

And this video is about young hares.

And yet another hare video.

One of the supporting actors in the film is the white stork. This is a white stork video.

The grass snake, the subject of this video, is another supporting actor.

So is the great crested grebe, of this video.

And crayfish.

Another animal featuring in the film is the northern pike. This is a video about it. In one movie scene, young pikes learn that they cannot eat sticklebacks because of the spines.

The film shows the metamorphosis of the scarce large blue butterfly; never before recorded on film. Scarce large blue butterflies are very dependent on other life forms. The caterpillars are dependent, first on great burnet plants.

Great burnet, 9 June 2014

Afer great burnet, the caterpillars depend on Myrmica scabrinodis ants, when the caterpillars live as parasites, feeding on ant larvae, in the anthills. Usually in June, the caterpillars become pupae, close to the anthill exit.

Then, in July, the adult butterflies will want to break free from the pupae. They do that early in the morning, before the ants get up. As a caterpillar and a pupa, the scarce large blue smelled like an ant larva; so the usually aggressive ants did not attack it. Adult butterflies do not have that protection. So, they must fly away before the ants become active; as a butterfly does towards the end of the film.

These butterflies are also, indirectly, dependent on springtails: these are the main food of their ant hosts. This is not shown in the film in order to not make it too complex.

Scarce large blue butterfly life cycle

One of the final sentences of the film says that, like scarce large blue butterflies and other wildlife, humans are also dependent on other life forms, and should be aware of that.

Also about this film: here. And here.

Film about the making of this film: here.

37 thoughts on “New Dutch wildlife film, review

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