Fishing in Central Southern Africa, the target species are tigerfish, obviously, and nembwe - less well known but looks like fun fishing (...and tastes delicious – Editor.)
Some good fishing footage, meaning the fishing looks good, the quality of the video footage is maybe a little less impressive. River Tiger opens with an interesting shot, from the prow of a boat speeding up-river, cut to fly fisher casting. The visuals alone would have grabbed my interest, but the makers had to try and gild their lily by adding a deep voiced narrator voicing a script over their opening scenes, a rather purple script, riddled with cliches and hyperbole. I didn’t like or want the narrator. Whoever wrote phrases like “Bejewelled in dazzling sunsets” should think again.
The visual style is sort of set by the first few minutes, hand-held camera, high-quality images, fairly frequent cuts. Those can be used as devices, for example the hand-held camera creates a sense of informality and first-person involvement – which is completely lost whenever the narrator starts up his pompous travelogue nonsense!
After a brief flight over stunning falls, a selection of wildlife shots, we reach the lodge and are shown a bed and a map to explain where we will be fishing. Then, thankfully, the fishing, presented and fished by Jonathan Boulton. Tigerfish are hard-fighting, aggressive predators. Boulton explains some of the tackle set-up, flies and tactics and boats a couple of good fish. Later in the day he changes tactics, moves to the bank and targets nembwe, a member of the bream family, again I get a brief explanation of flies and knots. Then back to tigerfish, Boulton casting from the front deck of a jet boat.
River Tiger presents the fishing well. As a video this seems to start as one type of project, with that terrible narration and a couple of anglers on a quest arriving at a fishing lodge, then converts to a different project, an expert angler demonstrating and explaining his fishing in his home environment. The second project is far more successful and more interesting.
Produced by Ezio Taranto for Merge
Price: £15.50 (comes as a package with extras)