Wild Thai­land

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Television -

Sun­day, 7.30pm, Nat Geo Wild If you have never been to Thai­land but have heard good things, this ex­quis­ite two-part doc­u­men­tary may just seal the deal. Closer in spirit to David At­ten­bor­ough’s nat­u­ral his­tory pro­grams than the many cheaply made food and travel shows that pro­lif­er­ate on pay TV, Wild Thai­land is so good it makes you catch your breath. Time-lapse pho­tog­ra­phy of bil­low­ing skies and open­ing flow­ers blends beau­ti­fully with slow­mo­tion vi­sion of rare and colour­ful birds in flight, just as the droughts and rainy sea­son of the coun­try ro­tate in a con­stant cy­cle. The re­sult of the pre­dictable cli­mate is one of the most fer­tile places on earth, con­tain­ing 10 per cent of all an­i­mal species. Liv­ing wild has al­ways been a strug­gle, but now the wildlife also has to con­tend with habi­tat de­struc­tion and the spread of hu­man in­flu­ence. By way of con­trast to the rel­a­tive seren­ity of Thai­land’s for­got­ten and rarely seen wilder­ness, we pop into Bangkok for a re­al­ity check on what hu­mans are up to. The elec­tric­ity and clam­our of the place is de­picted in time- lapse videog­ra­phy that wouldn’t have been out of place in God­frey Reg­gio’s 1982 opus Koy­aanisqatsi: Life Out of Bal­ance. Soon enough we are back among the unique birdlife, the macro world of in­sects and the an­i­mals that live in the lush depths of Thai­land’s rain­forests.

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