Famed author and naturalist Gerald Durrell's most famous novel comes to life. Award-winning actress Imelda Staunton stars in Simon Nye's warm and magical new adaptation of the renowned autobiography by Gerald Durrell.
Escaping the dreary wet weather of 1930s England, the eccentric and bohemian Durrell family uproot and ship themselves to the sunnier climate of the Greek island of Corfu. Here, this rag-tag family - innocent 10-year-old Gerald, acne-infested Margot, gun-loving Leslie and overbearing, intellectual Larry - experience the joys of living a life of freedom and adventure under the watchful eye of their sympathetic mother (Staunton). Beautiful cinematography and outstanding performances by the entire cast bring this wonderfully rich story to life, and reminds us all of a child's innocent joy at discovery.
This release also includes the very special BBC documentary 'Durrell's Ark', which includes passionate interviews with the renowned conservationist himself. Tracing Gerald's childhood on Corfu, his life's work and personal accounts of the animals he helped to save, 'Durrell's Ark' reveals the direct impact this single incredible man has had on biodiversity conservation, both in the field and by bringing the issues to the forefront of public attention, and in doing so influencing many hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
Gerald Durrell is an amazing and fascinating man, and I remember as a kid the bits and pieces Mum told me about his books. She'd been an avid collector of Durrell's for years, and although I never got round to actually reading any of the books (a fact I now seriously regret), I always enjoyed hearing whatever snippets Mum would share with me of his adventures. So it was with great delight that I recieved My Family and other Animals and settled in to watch it. Filled with warm, light-hearted humour, it was indeed a pleasure to watch, and kinda made me envy Durrell's childhood!! Being surrounded by all that bushland and wildlife as a kid would have been absolute heaven to me. Watching the antics of Gerald's older brothers and sister caused a fair bit of laughter, and I certainly admire his mother, Louisa, who took everything so calmly in her stride... which would have taken a fair amount of effort, considering what that lot were like!! LOL! And as for Gerald... well, I thought I was bad when it came to how many animals I've had over the years, but watching the menagerie that he collected just as a kid, well I really don't know what my mother, when I was a child, and these days, my partner, were complaining about!! LOL!
The special feature, Durrell's Ark, is well worth watching as well. If anything, I actually preferred this over the main feature. Getting to watch sections of old footage of the real Gerald at work, along with, of course, all the wonderful wildlife (yeah ok, I'm a sucker for all creatures great and small... oops, wrong famous animal person!!) was quite educational and interesting. This is a man who did a lot of work towards turning zoos into something more than just overdone display cases for exotic creatures, and if you're any kind of animal lover, then this is definitely something I recommend that you at least check out!
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