Film Review: The Velvet Queen

Vincent Munier and Sylvain Tesson

This planet is truly a wonderous place. Created by a number of happy coincidences and a lot of luck. The fact we, humans, are here at all is as close to a miracle as you’re ever likely to see. Just the sheer diversity of flora and fauna is almost beyond comprehension. That’s even before you consider the diverse and varied habitats and ecosystems. There’s so much we still don’t understand, but thanks to the toil of pioneers we know much more than we could ever hope to experience.

Much of the world we know and love today is experienced vicariously. Whether that’s on TV, in cinemas or surfing the internet, we rely on professionals to beam jaw-dropping images into our lives. Two adventures, the renowned wildlife photographer Vincent Munier and novelist Sylvain Tesson, go in search of the elusive snow leopard. Their hunt is captured in the staggeringly beautiful documentary, The Velvet Queen.

We’re transported to the snow-glazed plateaus of Tibet in The Velvet Queen.  Amongst these inaccessible valleys and hidden caves live some of nature’s rarest animals. In Marie Amiguet and Vincent Munier’s film we’re afforded an eye-opening glimpse into an environment normally closed to humans. First and foremost, The Velvet Queen is jaw-droppingly magnificent, both in terms of the breathtaking landscapes and diversity of fauna on show. It’s also a fascinating insight into the work of a wildlife photographer.

The Velvet Queen is out in UK cinemas on 29 April.

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