FUR SEALS, THE DARK SIDE

Fur seals. We all know these circus animals, which can juggle, jump, dance or applaud to the great joy of the audience. With large, tender eyes and a soft fur, they have been trained to entertain and amuse. This was our common vision, up to now…

Far from amusement parks, in the big frozen ocean surrounding Antarctica, the fur seal presents a very different face from that of the playful creature. This groundbreaking one-hour special unveils the dark side of this mysterious predator.

Half way between a tale and an investigation, this film follows the destiny of a young male fur seal, who has taken refuge on a remote volcanic island of the Southern Seas. An animal that kills more than it apparently needs to survive. No palm trees, no trainer or turquoise pools are to be seen here. Instead, he lives in a hostile world where the rules of survival are mastered through a strict learning process.

All through the seal’s coming of age, the self-taught animal moves through different stages that will in turn enable him to produce offspring: after a birth on land, the seal leaves for the high seas, endures storms, and above all, learns. He learns to hunt, to fight, to become an opportunistic predator but also to share the dusky dolphins’ experience or to escape the killer whale’s jaws.

Context: This film has involved very dedicated film crews in extreme situations:  it was shot over a 6 year period in the remote Prince Edward Islands, in the utterly difficult open ocean of the so-called Roaring Forties and offshore Patagonia. It delivers both a comprehensive biography of a popular animal and a very modern approach to natural history. This film associates an unusual soundtrack with Rap songs to more classical blue chip behaviour, most of which has never been seen before.


Details: 52′ HD

A film by François de RIBEROLLES