Austria’s love affair with water has given her unique and amazing landscapes and biospheres, carved out by Alpine glaciers, ancient seas and mighty rivers, home to iconic animals like eagles, wild boar, ibex and deer.
The 2-part-series “Wild Austria - Created by Water” (directed by Rita and Michael Schlamberger) melds overwhelming spectacle with miniature high drama in a portrait of a country where water in all its forms brings beauty – and life.
Part 1: White water, Blue water
Flowing or solid, water has astonishing power. Glaciers gouge and scrape mountains into bizarre forms over millions, sometimes just thousands of years. Receding, they scoop out and fill lakes, but even these finally dry out and the forest takes over. In Austria‘s world famous bird sanctuary, Lake Neusiedl, the cuckoo conceals its intentions well. Hiding in the reeds, it fools some birds – but not all – into raising its demanding and murderous offspring.
Part 2: The Flow of Time
Rivers and waterfalls slice through mountains dragging millions of tons of gravel to the lowlands, spreading new habitats: nesting for little ringed plover, or beds for airborne sycamore seeds that root and bind the new land. Goldeneye ducks nest in abandoned woodpecker holes high in trees beside the river. Once a dozen siblings have hatched, the tiny ducklings leap after their mother, dropping up to ten metres to the water below. Straightaway they can swim. But learning to fish takes a bit more time – and plenty of error!
Water in all its forms is constantly modelling the landscape, over millions of years, over millennia or just in one single day. Water is the basis of all life. And it is surely Austria’s greatest treasure.