Visionary camera work immerses audiences in the world of European forest animals, making sure we know how humans changed -- and destroyed -- the idyllic, if occasionally vicious, circle of life. Seasons is the result of more than four years of footage and research in the forests of France, Poland, and Norway. It gives viewers an up-close-and-personal look at the way the animals, including deer, lynx, fox, bison, horses, owls, wolves, bears, hedgehogs, and other creatures live (and in particular, hunt) when left alone by humans.
Speaking of humans, they only make an appearance halfway in -- and once they do, they're clearly positioned as the film's villains. The animals had coexisted with their natural roles in the food chain until people -- and their weapons and homes and thirst for land -- emerged as rulers over beasts. This part of the documentary isn't quite as effective or compelling (at this point, who doesn't know that humans aren't the best when it comes to animal protection?) as the scenes with just the animals. Whether it's the birth of a baby fawn or a pack of wolves tearing into a warthog, Seasons' best parts are all about the creatures' life in the wild.