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velvet queen

velvet queen

Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier track the elusive endangered Tibetan snow leopard in this poetic wildlife documentary.

Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier track down the elusive endangered Tibetan snow leopard in this poetic wildlife documentary.

wooStrong winds, calm whispers, and a craving for the perfect introduction to the elusive parts of nature are the core of Velvet Queen. It’s a hypnotic lesson in attentive photojournalism, offering an insight on a quest to make contact with wildlife in its natural habitat—in this case, the rare Tibetan snow leopard.

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Wandering the peaks are Vincent Munier, a wildlife photographer, and his writer friend Sylvain Tesson, who aim to climb to great heights through extreme weather conditions and turn a blind eye to their prize. Through its cinematography alone we soon learn that this is no Animal Planet special.

The view is breathtaking, open and often paralyzed in its grandeur. Shots of wind-lifting sand and sifting it through the open air are no guarantees of seeing the pair time travel. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ haunting score reflects the mood for exploration in Tibet – certainly something more gloomy than your typical nature doctor. At one point Tesson’s narration cries of self-determination, with Leopard looking for the journey, “For me, a dream—for him, a sociable one.” The lyricism appears to be important, and perhaps too much at times.

The film’s title refers to the majestic nature of its subject, an affinity for the slender cat, and its viewing frequency. This discovery process generates a great deal of interest as we see many aspects of wildlife throughout the document – ​​antelope, wolves, bears to name just a few.

At one point both Munier and Tesson are in awe of being present with these other animals, but you can’t help but feel like they’re just catching up time as they eagerly await a glimpse of the snow leopard. are waiting. And while they wait patiently, audiences must adopt the same mindset, and the film is essentially about the concept of delayed gratification.

And [mini spoiler alert], this waiting game is definitely worth it, despite the poetic length it takes to get there. In several near-misses and video teases later, you can see the self-acceptance that Munier and Tesson have embraced to justify their effort. “Despise the pain, ignore the timing, and never doubt you’ll get what you want,” Tesson explains. This summarizes the heart of the film – that patience is key, wisdom is essential, and hope is really what we have to get through the day.

They finally get what they want – the two are seen in utter awe from the snow leopard in all its winter glory just a few meters away. The Velvet Queen cuts the traditional nature document with a philosophical edge that can feel suffocating at times, but you can’t argue with its creators’ worship of nature.

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Reference from lwlies.com

Ketya Cerny