Mark Verkerk’s WILD AMSTERDAM follows a city cat as he commentates his adventures through the bustling city of Amsterdam, acting as quite the unique tour guide for the film’s audience, and allowing us a fresh insight into the lives of the capital’s wild inhabitants.
The film’s sweet and simplistic narrative is easily followed and is comprised of several small educational segments (varied in length) that give an overview of each animal the city has to offer, ranging from the clever ways in which peregrine falcons source their food; how our fine feathered friends utilise the city’s litter to build their nests; and how they protect their youth from oncoming predators.
There are a few comedic elements throughout the film that the audience is sure to love, including the small portion dedicated to the rats that have settled themselves underground, occasionally emerging to the surface for a quick slice of pizza and some chips.
WILD AMSTERDAM features cultural events such as King’s Day, and the Amsterdam City Swim, exhibiting its residents (human and animal alike) as moving as one and, soon enough, the audience begins to feel a part of that, as we come out of the film with our senses heightened and with a new love and appreciation for wildlife we take for granted.
The soundtrack is a pleasant addition acting as an accelerant and greatly assisting the pacing of the film, especially when finely tuned to slow-motion clips of pigeon heads bobbing, and wings flapping, giving the impression the wildlife was just as much of a fan of Dutch pop music as the audience is after our brief introduction to it.
The film offers a rare opportunity to see Amsterdam in a different light, breaking away from the mould of the sometimes excessive nature documentary, and giving us instead a high-spirited and engaging, distinctive take where our only instruction is to observe.