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Finale of the “Universum” three-part series “Brahmaputra – The great river of the Himalayas”: “Bangladesh – From the lowlands to the ocean”

On March 16 at 8:15 p.m. on ORF 2

Vienna (OTS) The third part of the spectacular “Universum” three-part series “Brahmaputra – The Great River from the Himalaya”, designed by Heinz Leger, leads on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at 8.15 p.m. on ORF 2 from India’s magical Kaziranga National Park to “Bangladesh – From the lowlands to the ocean ”. With the visually stunning three-part series by Klaus Feichtenberger, Jeremy Hogarth and Heinz Leger about the “Great River from the Himalaya” – a joint production by ORF and the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV – “Universum” embarks on a fascinating journey to Tibet, India and Bangladesh – from frozen deserts to tropical hot rainforests, from the roof of the world to the vast swamps of the Sundarbans. The Brahmaputra three-part series was created as a co-production by ORF, CCTV10, CITVC, ARTE France, ZDF, ORF-Enterprise, pre tv, dreiD.at and EOS Film.

In the lowlands of Assam, the Brahmaputra nourishes an area of ​​quiet beauty and inexhaustible wealth: India’s magical Kaziranga National Park. Here nature in its originality and diversity is reminiscent of times long past. It is a world subject to the intervals of the monsoons – and that applies to the mighty Brahmaputra as well. In the dry periods the river forms islands, the small rivers are lost in the vastness of the landscape. In the rainy season everything is different: entire regions disappear in the water for several weeks. The river is constantly changing its course. The people live from growing rice. But working in the rice fields is not without its dangers: poisonous cobras and malaria-infected mosquitoes populate the moist soil, but also beneficial organisms such as the tiny rice parsley and the stately apple snails. They feed the rare gaping beaks. The powerful beaks of this species of stork crack the shells of the large freshwater snails from the rice fields with ease.

Bangladesh: The country is built on sand. Sand that the Brahmaputra, who is called Jamuna here, brought from the Himalayas. The salt water penetrates more than 100 kilometers into the floodplain at high tide. In the mud from the Himalayas, crocodiles and black monitor monitor chase each other, while fiddler crabs sieve valuable nutrients from the sand: The sundarbans are the largest mangrove forests on earth and also offer rare turtle species a safe habitat. The gigantic mouth delta of the Brahmaputra is unparalleled anywhere in the world. The great river from the Himalayas has long since united with the Ganges and the Meghna and discharges the nutrient-rich gifts from the roof of the world into the depths of the Indian Ocean. Donors of life here too, more than 3,000 kilometers from its source.

Director Heinz Leger on a very special “Universe” day

“Before sunrise in the national park, hope that the sun will fight its way through the thick fog that morning, that we are in the right place and that the animals will not be deterred by our presence. The next day again and again … One morning, however, this magical moment: We are in the right place at the right time, the morning light lies like a golden veil over the river, a herd of wild water buffalo slowly passes by and in spite of all the repellants the mosquitoes make themselves about us. Cinematographer Harald Mittermüller pans stoically with the Indian rhinoceros, which majestically crosses the old arm that gleams in the sun. I stand by. My heart beats faster, I know we are shooting in slow motion, the golden light and the white cattle egret on the back of the rhinoceros, these are exactly the images with which we enchant our audience. But then my heart beats even faster, Harald looks through the viewfinder and is in a completely different world, but I noticed that the Indian rhinoceros noticed us too. Suddenly three and a half tons of bad mood set in motion. Our guide calls, Move, move, move! ‘ and fires a warning shot in the air. Harald tears the camera off the tripod, assistant Ingemar throws it into the hold of the jeep, we jump into the cars and slide away over the muddy driveway. “

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