Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part IV. Not Only Fangs and Claws

Duration: 29’ 30”   
Original format: 4:3 SD
Format after the revitalization: 16:9 HD

Screenplay and direction: Bożena Walencik, Jan Walencik
Cinematography: Jan Walencik, Krystian Matysek
Sound: Bożena Walencik, Jan Walencik, Ewa Salecka
Editing: Bożena Walencik, Jan Walencik
Sound engineering: Włodzimierz Kazimierczak
Assistant: Krzysztof Komar
Music: Ireneusz Dreger
Lectors: Krystyna Czubówna, Bengt Scotland
Production organization: Sławomir Boniecki
Scientific consultation: Janusz Faliński, Krystyna Falińska, Jerzy Gutowski, Bogumiła Jędrzejewska, Włodzimierz Jędrzejewski, Amelia Kawecka, Simona Kossak, Czesław Okołów, Zdzisław Pucek, Stefan Sikora, Aleksander Sokołowski, Ludwik Tomiałojć, Wiesław Walankiewicz, Tomasz Wesołowski
Co-operation: Białowieża National Park

TVP 1 would like to thank for help during the production of the film: employees of the Białowieża National Park, employees of the Białowieża Geobotanical Station of the University of Warsaw, employees of the Mammal Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Białowieża, employees of the Institute of Natural Forests of the Forest Research Institute in Białowieża, employees of the Białowieża Forest District, employees of the Browsk Forest District, employees of the Hajnówka Forest District, Białowieża Forest National Park – Belarus, Border Guard Guards in Białowieża, R. E. and H. Z. Z. PAN Research Station in Popielno, Zoological Gardens in Warsaw, Poznań, Kraków and Bydgoszcz, Inhabitants of Białowieża and Hajnówka

Producer: Telewizja Polska S.A. (Polish Television)
Lead time: 1993–1995
End of production: 1995
Revitalization to HD: 2014

Frames from the film (QUOTES).

In the middle of The Old Continent, on the eastern borders of Poland and the western borderlands of Belarus, the heartbeat of the primeval forest beats. Uninterrupted for several thousand years. In the abundant, dim greenness the same backwoods are still crossed by the emperors of the Forest – European bison. As in the times of King Jagiełło, as in the times of Mendog. The only remnant of truly primeval forests that once covered the European lowlands – the Biosphere Reserve and Human Heritage – the eternal Białowieża Primeval Forest.

QUOTE. Excerpt from the film Heartbeat of the Primeval Forest. Part IV. Not Only Fangs and Claws. Directed by Bożena Walencik, Jan Walencik. Source: TVP.

The presenters explore the Forest’s world of higher-order consumers – predators and parasites. First, they follow sophisticated hunters: they observe a wolf feeding on carrion, have a close encounter with a pygmy shrew – the smallest mammal of the Forest, tell about the fascinating phenomenon of decreasing skull volume in shrews, observe venomous water shrew hunting underwater, then otters and an attacking lynx. Later they move on to parasites. They present a great mass of blood-sucking female mosquitoes and their larvae, as well as blood-sucking ticks, the larvae of a parasitic fluke in the feelers of a snail, and even a cuckoo chick being fed by a pair of robins. They film peculiar plants – sundews – that attract insects with mucus, find predatory larvae of myrmeleon lurking for ants in sandy holes, and observe a forest dormouse hunting flies. Finally, they introduce a sophisticated, though unaware by humans, clan of the Forest’s predators – insectivorous birds that catch and eat an unimaginable mass of prey.

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