In the plane on her way to Italy late this summer, Witty Kitty saw this most amazing movie, Born in China, a documentary about three animal families living in the harsh wilds of China. The film began and ended with the family WK found by far the most fascinating (though all three were tremendously interesting) – Dawa, a snow leopard, and her two adorable little cubs. Dawa – WK’s Big Auntie in the Wild! – fiercely struggles to get food for her little ones, after another leopard, aided unfairly by his male companions – steals prey she has killed and then takes over her lair. She is forced off her land, and ventures to another area, but there is less prey there. Okay, WK does not normally like to watch these National Geographic movies where you see predators kill their prey, but you just couldn’t take your eyes off Dawa as she tries and tries to get food for her little cubs. It was heartbreaking. And when WK got back home, she did some research and found that lots of viewers – not just cats! – were most enthralled with Dawa, and sought out the filmmaker to find out what had happened to the cubs after filming ended.
The movie also follows a mother panda as she raises her baby to adulthood, when she will part ways with her – since pandas are solitary animals, and a rebellious little golden snub-nosed monkey who joins a group of hooligan monkeys called The Lost Boys after fighting with his father over a new little sister. That story was a lot of fun too, and had a happy ending. And, while the credits roll, the monkeys are shown playing with the camera equipment!
Seriously, what’s so amazing about this film is how the filmmaker was able to capture the animals’ thoughts and emotions through their facial expressions and body movement. And how human that emotion was. I kept thinking the animals must have been either very real-looking puppets or visual tricks in order to be able to “act” their roles in the stories. I was surprised to find that it was all real footage. Real animals, real footage, real stories that are so human.
WK (and her human!) highly recommend! Five scrumptious bonito flakes!
Above photo of Dawa and the cubs taken from CinemaBlend.