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theguardian - 7 days ago

Amphibious Soul by Craig Foster – what lies beneath

A memoir from the human star of My Octopus Teacher shows unjustified confidence in interpreting nature’s messagesThe life of a nature documentary maker can be rough. It nearly killed Craig Foster, creator and human co-star of the Oscar-winning My Octopus Teacher. After 25 years of filming, his brain, lungs and liver were “full of parasites” picked up in the forests of Gabon and the lakes of Malawi and Rwanda, and a case of cerebral malaria very nearly finished him off. He spent a month in hospital – during which the man in the bed beside him died and fever-dream crows crowded outside the window – and then he returned to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, where he was born and raised, plunging into the freezing Atlantic Ocean.In Amphibious Soul, Foster tells how the sea, or, as he refers to it, “Big Mother”, has healed him, both physically and spiritually. He’s referring to one patch of ocean in particular: the Great African Sea Forest, a wilderness of swaying kelp, sharks and violent waves off the Cape. This was where his actual mother swam, with Foster in her belly, until the day he was it’s where his father informally baptised and it’s where the adult Foster experiences a kind of rebirth and develops extraordinary relationships with its non-human residents. Continue reading...


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