Voyage with world renowned photographer and publisher Craig Potton as he tours New Zealand's most significant rivers, delving into the depths and shallows to unearth the rich history of the local people and their relationship with some of the country's most significant waterways.
In this documentary series, Craig travels five of New Zealand's major rivers - the Clarence, the Clutha, the Mokihinui, the Rangitata and the Waikato - each one with its own story.
From boat to barge, bicycle to bare feet, Craig takes us on his own personal and insightful journey from source to sea, meeting colourful characters and through them discovering the stories - personal, historical, contemporary, political, cultural and mystical that flow through New Zealand.
When I first saw this series mentioned on tv, I have to admit to getting rather excited! I've been a HUGE fan of Craig Potton for years as I absolutely love his landscape photography! So a series presented by a favourite photographer, hopefully showing some of his work, and about a subject I love as well.. had to be a winner right?
Waikato is the only episode I ended up seeing on tv, and although it was informative and somewhat enjoyable, it just didn't really grab me the way I'd expected. But... I still decided to grab the DVD, thinking it could at least be handy for the kids to learn about some of our National rivers. I am SOOOO glad I did! It must have been the mood I was in, or something, when I first watched Waikato, because the 2nd time round, I was totally hooked.. fascinated at learning about the history of each of the main rivers (Clutha, Mokihinui, Waikato, Clarence, and Rangitata), and about how they have each affected the land and the people surrounding them.
Potton's work features quite a bit throughout the episodes, along with footage of him "at work", which for me, as an aspiring photographer, was great and inspiring to watch. Although his narration was slightly stuttery, and definitely not as smooth and easy to listen to as narrators/presenters like Sir David Attenborough and Fergal Keane, Craig's passion for the subject and his work comes through strong and makes it easy to get past any "discomfort" caused by listening to the stuttery narration.
The music throughout is relaxing and easy on the ears, so doesn't interfere with the narration during the episodes, and each episode is extremely informative, containing snippets of info on plants, wildlife, history, goldmining, and many other interesting things. So sad though to see just how mankind has interfered with the way the river runs in some cases (particularly with the Clutha), with the dams etc.
Nature lovers, NZ history fans, children, photographers... this is a fantastic DVD for all! It's a DVD that'll make you glad you live in this stunning country of ours, or make you wish you did if you're not a kiwi and watching it. After watching Rivers, I am now seriously itching to grab the camera, a kayak, and head out to start exploring these incredible rivers and their beautiful scenery for myself!
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