"Yellowstone" is a co-production between Animal Planet and the BBC. It was originally aired as a TV series, which explains its lengthy run time.
The documentary is divided in three parts, called "Winter", "Summer" and "Autumn". All three contain dramatic and stunning footage from the Yellowstone national park in Wyoming. The geysers and other weird geological formations are featured, the extreme weather conditions are explained, and then follows a long parade of animals: bison, elk, wolves, pronghorns, grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, beavers, foxes, even nutcrackers and beetles. The most dramatic moment is a fight between a male and a female grizzly on a steep mountain slope. More corny is a confrontation between a beaver and a moose (!).
A positive thing about "Yellowstone" is that it doesn't constantly mention those famous (or infamous) wolves. The other animals, and even some of the trees, get their piece of the action, too. My personal favourites are the magpies and the honkers. I'm used to these birds from my suburban environment, and consider them to be somehow "suburban". They feel out of place in Yellowstone, and make the place feel like home...
Of course, that's about the only thing about this wilderness area that does feel like home. Otherwise, Yellowstone National Park might as well be another planet! That's probably because Yellowstone looks like Earth before the arrival of humans. That makes this documentary even more fascinating to watch. Somehow, it feels like being placed in a time machine, getting a glimps of a world long lost.
And Yellowstone, too, might be lost. Many of the animals are threatened by man whenever they leave the boundaries of the national park. A beetle is destroying the pine trees, a pest made possible by the somewhat milder climate. Global warming? And, of course, the whole area sits on top an active supervolcano. At least that's not our fault!
Yellowstone is more fascinating than Africa or the Amazonas. I admit of suffering from a serious boat of "TV safari ennui". Please spare me the lions and gnus, thank you.
This documentary was the perfect cure. Recommended.