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WildFilmHistory » Home » Films » The Year of the Wildebeest

The Year of the Wildebeest  (1974)

Fear vs. thirst

Successfully conveying the sheer scale and enormity of the wildebeest (Connochaetes gnou) migration, The Year of the Wildebeest, provides a breathtakingly dramatic view of this immense, epic journey. A dream-child of internationally acclaimed wildlife photographers Alan and Joan Root, this film provides a captivating insight into life during this electrifying and action-packed pilgrimage.

The relentless movement of the herd continues as calves are born and predators attack, with orphans left to fend for themselves. Capturing crocodile strikes in all their gruesome glory, the Roots’ stunning images were the first to detail the perilous river crossings, now standard fare in documentaries of this genre.

Famous for their innovative cinematography techniques, the couple captured the pounding energy and incessant hammering of the thundering herd by placing cameras at ground level, protecting them with tortoise shells. The footage gained skillfully transmits the raw, thrilling power as the mighty river storms along.

Impressively filmed, The Year of the Wildebeest is a memorable and majestic portrait of one of greatest wildlife spectacles on Earth.

Copyright holder

Copyright Holder: Alan Root
Address: P.O. Box 43747
Nairobi 00100
Telephone: +254 20 606 222
Copyright Holder: ITN Source
Address: 200 Gray's Inn Road
United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0) 207 430 4480

Film credits

Dubbing Editor: Brian Blamey
Music: Frank Cordell
Narrator: James Mason
Photography: Alan Root
Producer: Alan Root
Writer: John Lloyd

Related links

Alan Root
Joan Root
Wildebeeste processions across a lake
Wildebeeste processions across a lake
The greatest sight of the natural world
The greatest sight of the natural world
Fear vs. thirst
Fear vs. thirst