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The hard life of cats. The film “The Master of the Altai Mountains” is released – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Date: July 23, 2024 Time: 02:13:29

However, films like “Rivers” or “Baikal The Amazing Adventures of Yuma” managed to attract their curious audience. Now, for the lucky few who have had access to cinemas, “The Master of the Altai Mountains” has been added, in fact, a popular science film by directors Vadim Vitovtsev and Ilya Tsyganov about the beautiful leopard of the snow leopard, a huge and luxurious leopard in danger of extinction. Cat listed in the Red Book and living only in the rugged mountains of Central Asia.

This is the result of three years of cinematic observations of one of the most careful predators on the planet. “Camera traps” installed on the steep slopes of Altai captured live signals of the animals’ daily lives without fear, without disturbing their peace or altering their natural behavior.

The filmmakers even left information about the camera number and air temperature at the time of filming in the frame. But the purpose of these “traps” is in no way cinematic. Scientists observe the life of wildlife, carefully analyzing the situations in which rare animals live; more precisely, they survive in the harsh conditions of lack of food, when every ibex captured by a hungry leopard becomes a gift of fate.

Little by little, the film develops its own characters. The owner of these places is a powerful and beautiful leopard, the snow leopard, which scientists gave the name Tural. At first, a lonely hunter, he will meet a girlfriend, become the father of three kittens, but according to tradition, he will retire with dignity, leaving the mother to take care of the babies, get them food, hunt, taking risks. that they, abandoned to the mercy of chance, will die. The observers will call their friend Tana.

The film will always have a dramatic plot of generational change, when an aging leopard meets his own adult son, who claims to become the new owner of these open spaces. Simple natural processes seem majestic and indisputable: they invariably take their toll, a person can only adapt to them, observe and study them. This is what a group of scientists is doing, and their work, which requires attention, patience and tact towards nature, commands great respect.

Photo: Raketa Release Company

Filming took place in the Sailyugemsky National Park with its landscapes, apparently, not suitable for any type of life: dizzying slopes, snowy gorges, sparse vegetation, cold climate. But it is here that snow leopards live their existence, constantly overcoming the harshness of that life. For every three leopard cubs born, one survives; this is the norm here. The rest die from lack of food. That is why the hunting scenes, in which life itself is increasingly at stake, seem so dramatic in the film, their natural and unpretentious suspense is so strong.

“The most beautiful and elegant wildcat on the planet,” is how Nikolai Drozdov, one of the off-screen commentators on what happens on the screen, characterizes the snow leopard. The second commentator is Konstantin Khabensky. Everything in this film is very solid and serious, endowed with expressive music in which the whistling of the wind merges with throat singing and the broad flow of the piano. There are even subtitles that decipher the exchange of comments. This caution towards future viewers is touching and laudable in every way, although to be fair, I note that the local scientists, inspectors and anti-poachers who starred in the film speak much more clearly than other professional actors in the feature films of the last years. This is called production culture, another rarity that appears in the Red Book of Russian cinema.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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