Bohemia – A Year in the Wetlands (Michael Schamberger, Jiri Petr, 2009): Austria

Reviewed by Charles Starr. Viewed at SBIFF, 2011

One if the many excellent films that was shown at the 2011 Santa Barbara Independent Film Festival was “Bohemia: A Year in the Wetlands”, directed by Michael Schamberger. Bohemia is located in central Europe, just south of Prague. In the middle ages, monks who inhabited the wetlands built a series of canals, rivers and pools to fish out of and the area has since turned into a home for a wide variety of wildlife durring the warmer months of the year. During the winter, the pools freeze over but otters can be sighted searching for fish through holes in the ice layer.

I found it quite incredible that man had a role in creating such a positive natural environment for both wildlife and mankind to be able to enjoy. It seems all too often that, today, mankind is having a detrimental effect on nature and its inhabitants. I can’t list how many documentaries I have watched in the past 5 years that are very doom and gloom about the environment and the damage we as humans have done to it. In that sense, this movie was a breath of fresh air. I was amazed to see how wildlife and sustainable farming can co-exist.

The cinematography was absolutely stunning! It made me want to visit the area and see it all in person. I would recommend this film to anyone who loves nature and has an interest in sustainable living.

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