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Into the Okavango: Why the present moment is the most important moment

Friday afternoon of the New Hampshire Film Festival, The Music Hall hosted the first viewing of Into the Okavango, a documentary directed, written and produced by Neil Gelinas, and co-written by Brian Newell. This documentary, presented by National Geographic, was filmed over the course of a four-month expedition in the Okavango Delta, and follows the exploration of ornithologist, Steve Boyest, PhD, in South Africa.

In today’s world of technology and social media, people rarely pay attention to reality and what surrounds them. The present moment has become more important than the future and the past. It’s really easy to forget about what’s to come in this crazy stream of information falling on us everyday. However, in Into the Okavango, we follow Steve Boyest as he challenges this societal norm by putting himself in conditions where he is absolutely cut off from civilization in order to provide scientific and environmental research that will have a positive impact in the future.

Along with him on his four-month journey, Boyest takes a young marine biologist, passionate about her future, and an old man from a tribe who’s scared to forget about his past, and takes them on a trip through three countries: Angola, Namibia and Botsvana, to discover reasons for the Okavango’s river drought.

War in Angola has took place from the end of the 20th century to the beginning of 21st century. One of the numerous devastating consequences is a complete destruction of Okavango’s river delta. Due to endless hostilities and a tremendous amount of land mines in the area, the delta of Okavango river has gone completely drought and caused all the wildlife to migrate to other parts of the river system. This migration has caused a great extermination of elephants because their new settlement is based in popular hunting territory.

It took Steve Boyest and his team the entire trip to discover the reasons behind this ecological catastrophe. This influential research on Okavango’s wildlife could help save its wilderness and the river’s environment. A discovery such as this allowed the team to reflect on the importance of time and the connection between present, future and the past.

There are a lot of ecological problems existing in today’s world because of past mistakes, and, in order to not harm our future, it’s very important to provide ecological researches and expeditions to be able to save our planet. Because of people like Steve Boyest and his crew, there is a possibility to save the place we all call home.

You can catch this film again on Saturday at 2:10 p.m. at The Music Hall Loft.

By Nikita Serdiuk