My Life as a Turkey
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My Life as a Turkey is the account of an amazing experiment: Naturalist Joe Hutto incubates two dozen wild-turkey eggs with the intention of human-imprinting and raising them. But the relationship that develops between the author and the birds changes his life so that he wonders who has imprinted whom.
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Top Customer Reviews
The cinematography is spectacular.
Hollywood was kept out of this documentary and that is like a breath of fresh air, no over dramatization and blood and guts, or awful continual music. Just presented as close to what the natural world is really like without much judgement.
I enjoyed it very much and it was kind of haunting - that is why I say it is a bit spooky. Some of the images are indelible in my mind, as well as the commentary.
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My own experience with a family of wild turkeys in South Dakota had already convinced me of a lot of behavior confirmed by this program. When I stopped my car near them at the side of the road, the family dashed through a hedge and up a hill towards the woods, except for one poult who missed his cue and got separated. He was running in a circle peeping his head off on my side of the hedge. Meanwhile the family waited on the hillside and called to him over and over. Eventually the poult dashed through the hedge and rejoined the family, and they fled into the woods together. When I described this behavior to Mr. Hutto he confirmed it as well as the type of peeps a poult would make under these circumstances.
The photography was so beautiful and misty, that I was puzzled about how they were able to get such incredible shots until I did research and found out how they made the film.
And as incredible a story as it is, what is also equally remarkable is that wildlife photographer Jeff Palmer--the "actor" they used to portray wildlife artist/naturalist Joe Hutto--was also given a cache of eggs, and the hatchlings imprinted on him...and the filmmakers then followed the re-created, yet real-life growth and relationship that developed with Jeff Palmer as Joe Hutto. So, you see? This was not just a one-time thing that happened to Joe Hutto...this is something that can be created again and again with turkeys--and doubtless, other animals. Proof of a strange, magical interconnectedness of all animal species.
I was so moved by this film and the obvious consciousness and sentience of the turkeys and the way they communicated not just with Jeff Palmer/Joe Hutto--but with each other and the other animals of the forest. Hearing their myriad and specific vocalizations, seeing their ability to learn and their pointed curiosity--was mind-blowing to me. Watching them puzzle over the remains of a dead turkey was like watching elephants hover their feet over bones in an elephant graveyard. I couldn't get over how, well...HUMAN they seemed.
I am not a vegetarian, but after watching this film I don't think I'm too far off from never eating turkey again. The vegetarians always say don't eat anything with a mother or a face, and after looking into the faces and eyes of the turkeys portrayed in this film, to kill and eat them to me would feel like killing and eating my beloved cats. That last remark may sound extreme, but that's how wonderful a job the filmmakers did in re-creating Joe Hutto's experience.
In spite of some sad, brief scenes, there is no real blood or scary violence, and I highly recommend this film to people of all ages, from 9 on up.
some of them....Swee-pea, Turkey-Boy, and we care.....and it is magic....to see Joe Hutto's "children", soon grow, thrive, and eventually, outgrow their odd relationship with Joe, and ultimately, their natural wild behaviour. It is revealed towards the end, that all the communication, relationship bond, was perhaps a fortunate,or un-fortunate, temporary thing...........as the turkey dna clicks in and reminds them they ARE WILD, and the results are both sad and wonderfull, and very heartfelt......but filmed with respect and magic, for both , the wild turkeys, and their adoptive parent. This is truly a special informative, and entertaining filmed account of our universal quest for meaning, love, understanding, everything else. I think this documentary is just one of a very few about wild turkeys, and is a marvel to behold!