Secrets of Nature

Groundbreaking techniques of time-lapse, microscopic and underwater cinematography are on display in this collection of films exploring animal, plant and insect life.

The natural world has always inspired fascination. Secrets of Nature, a pioneering series exploring animal, plant and insect life, made wondrous worlds and natural processes visible for the first time: sweet peas unfurl in the sunlight, white owls swoop in on their prey, sea life lurks on the ocean floor and moths patiently spin their cocoons.

These films, made by enterprising men and women at the forefront of science and nature filmmaking, developed groundbreaking techniques of time-lapse, microscopic and underwater cinematography. Paving the way for the natural history programmes that we know and love today, these Secrets grant us an entertaining, absorbing and very special glimpse into the mysteries of the natural world.

The techniques – Fathoms Deep beneath the Sea (1922), The Plants of the Pantry (1927), Magic Myxies (1931), The World in a Wine-glass (1931), Romance in a Pond (1932), Brewster’s Magic (1933).

The birds – The Cuckoo’s Secret (1922), The White Owl (1922), The Bittern (1931), The Nightingale (1932)

The insects – Skilled Insect Artisans (1922), The Battle of the Ants (1922), Busy Bees (1926), The Aphis (1930)

The plants – Floral Co-operative Societies (1927), Peas and Cues (1930), Scarlet Runner & Co (1930), The Strangler (1930), Gathering Moss (1933)

Special features

  • Percy Smith with Herons (1921, 3 minutes), an extract from Urban Movie Chats series: one of nature filmmaking’s pioneers in the role of adoptive father.
  • Fully illustrated booklet featuring newly commissioned essays and notes by leading researchers and scholars with film notes, photographs and illustrations.

Product information

    • Certificate

      Exempt

    • Colour

      Black/white

    • Sound

      Sound and Silent

    • Running time

      200mins

    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number

      BFIVD861

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