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Lady Ayame 講師のコラム

My Octopus Teacher is a great documentary!

2021年5月12日

Winner of this year's (2021)
Academy Award Best Documentary Film!
"My Octopus Teacher"

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Hello Cafetalk Community!


How are you doing this springtime? I hope you had a good Golden Week Holiday--whether you stayed at home or went on vacation!

I got my first Pfizer vaccine on May 1st, 2021. I had a bit of a sore upper left arm, but I did not have any other side effects. At first, I was somewhat apprehensive about getting the vaccine, but after I got it, I feel a lot more relieved and exhilarated that I'm protected against the coronavirus now. I have to go in again in 3 weeks to get my second Pfizer shot.

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[My Octopus Teacher: Documentary] It's On Netflix!

Today, I  would like to share quite an unusual movie that's extremely poignant, fascinating, and thrilling! It's not the usual romantic-comedy or action-packed Hollywood Blockbuster film. Rather, it's a quiet and thought-provoking documentary!

As you can tell from the documentary film's title, the main character of the film, Craig Foster meets an octopus while he's skin-diving in the cold False Bay near Capetown, South Africa. The cinematography of the underwater kelp forest is breathtakingly amazing and beautiful! Watching the film propels you into another world and the underwater forest looks as remote, exciting, and foreign as outer space.

After Foster's first encounter with the octopus in the kelp forest, he goes to the same spot every day for a year to see her. Day by day, Foster and the octopus form a symbiotic bond and an affectionate relationship. More than once, the octopus voluntarily curls up in his arms making mindful contact. 

At one point, Foster inadvertently drops the camera lens on the ocean floor that scares the octopus away. Like a man who lost the woman of his dreams, he surveils the ocean floor looking for clues that the octopus left behind. For example, like a detective, Foster tracks the trails of the octopus along the ocean floor and examines the carcasses of empty shells that she left behind after feeding.

Night and day, the man pursues the octopus relentlessly, obsessively, and ceaselessly. Like a forlorn lover, his mind is constantly obsessed with his new octopus friend. When the man is alone and on land, he asks himself questions like: "Where is she? What is she doing? Is she alright or did the sharks get her? 

I say this in half-jest, but the man's obsessiveness and laser-like focus made me wonder if he has Asperger's Syndrome (which is on the Autism Spectrum), or OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.) Also, the main character of the film, Craig Foster has a meticulous mind for details along with a photographic memory and will go to any lengths to accomplish what he sets out to do.

For example, he makes charts, writes notes, and takes photographs in order to find his missing sea creature friend. Observing Foster's level of passion, interest, and intensity about a single, sea creature is eccentric and unique to watch itself. In addition, Foster's deepfelt emotions, devotion, and determination are felt throughout the documentary.

At the very beginning of the film, Foster is struggling with the hardships, demands, and stresses of everyday life. As for what he learns, he says his relationships with his family and other humans have changed and gotten better. Foster feels he is a more sensitive, affectionate, and thoughtful man after his experience with his octopus teacher! After this life-changing encounter, he has developed a newfound lease on life and an appreciation for the beauty of nature!

I highly recommend this documentary. I think your perspective will change too after watching this poignant, up close, and rare encounter with a wild sea creature! It's on Netflix!

[FYI:] cephalopods
 Octopuses. The octopus is a marine mollusk and a member of the class Cephalopoda, more commonly called cephalopods. Cephalopoda means “head foot” in Greek, and in this class of organisms, the head and feet are merged.

Warmest regards,
Lady Ayame
(Patricia Ayame Thomson)

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My Octopus Teacher (2020): Step Into Nature And Develop A Gentleness |  Vegan Hacktivists Blog


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