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BMZ Review: African Adventure 3D: Safari in the Okavango
By Paula Tagle

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Photo courtesy nWave Pictures

African Adventure 3D: Safari in the Okavango
Written by: Paula Tagle
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: May 14, 2007

     

Category: Reviews

Part of the African Wildlife Series and produced by nWave Pictures, African Adventure 3D: Safari in the Okavango, continues in the vein of nWave's previous film, Wild Safari 3D.  The film travels again with South African zoologist Liesl Eichenberger, and is joined by master wildlife filmmaker Tim Liversedge (Roar: Lions of the Kalahari).  Rather than an in-depth study of the Okavango Delta, the film is a beautifully photographed safari, no more no less.  Charming in its simplicity, the film uses the natural world's inherent appeal as its focus.

The film is quick to note its intentions -- a jaunt through the Okavango Delta strung together by momentary glimpses of its animal inhabitants.  African Adventure does not attempt to hide itself as a film, exposing viewers to the cameras and crew that will be filming this documentary.  This openness and freeform quality are the film's strength and weakness.  Although fascinating sequences abound, from a pod of bathing hippos to gorging lions feasting on an elephant carcass, the film pleasantly meanders along but lacks any real energy.

For the most part, the film is presented as a first person view with the camera presumably sitting in place of a tourist to the Delta.  This aspect works well in placing the viewer within the environment, but produces a heavy reliance on the 3D aspect of the film.  African Adventure may not translate well in any other medium than 3D, but it does use this cinematic facet quite adeptly.  Local vegetation appears to brush up against you as you boat down the narrow channels of the Okavango.  Elephant trunks and tusks come increasingly close, close enough to even see the long eyelashes of these creatures.  The film allows a truly face-to-face look at these wildlife inhabitants from the safety of a theater.

As much as the film concerns the Okavango, it also is a film about filming.  Viewers learn of the tricks and modifications Liversedge has done to both vehicles and cameras in order to shoot the unpredictable wild.  As a whole, viewers watch filming taking place; the spontaneity of documentary filmmaking proves quite appealing -- animals appear here and there in quick, but memorable instances.  Serving as a pleasing introduction into this particular world, African Adventure is pretty enough, but lacks any significant insights.  Rather, it provides an awareness of this environment, and perhaps acts as a root to more concentrated looks at this beautiful and vital habitat.

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