Waves Beneath The Water, Secrets of freshwater life revealed
Arthur de Bruin
The Netherlands and water, a country and an elemental force inextricably interwoven. The mills, pumping stations, polders and dykes are famous and magnets for tourists. The country is surrounded by water in a captivating landscape of ditches, canals, ponds, pools, lakes and rivers. As much as 16% of the country is fresh water and a third of the land lies below sea level. Often, there has to be dealt with an excess of water and yet like all around the world people depend on it. Water is in our blood as well as cloudscapes. Ancient forces attract people to water. We have adapted the original water system in our vast river delta’s in order to control and use it to our advantage. But what do we actually know about the aquatic lives of the fresh water residents? 30 years ago, no one could even conceive of an underwater movie shot in this part of Europe. There was nothing to be seen in the polluted, turbid waters and extended parts of fresh water were devoid of life. The worst of the pollution is over. Once resident creatures are returning in great numbers to clean, fresh water, an environmental success story that should be celebrated. In this blue chip film, we see protagonists that are hidden from us in our daily lives, because they live under water. The complexity, beauty and ingenuity of those below the water surface is fascinating. The diversity of species, sizes, behaviour, colours and shapes is enormous. This is a world that you think only exists on coral reefs, until you find a farm ditch and put your head underwater. We move through the country, fluid as water and smooth as an eel. The underwater environment is always on the move. Ancient spring water, flowing streams and rivers, seemingly stagnant pools, everything is part of the water cycle. They are fed by, and in turn, feed the weather and the clouds. They form the stunning backdrop to the film, but everything is subservient to telling the life stories of our protagonists. The eel popping up everywhere is one of them. And also one of the most mysterious. Using the latest techniques, we filmed the residents underwater, in startling close ups as if you were there yourself. In this film we discover nature’s most hidden secrets. Meet surprising underwater inhabitants in this breathtakingly beautiful world.