The Serengeti Rules

“One of the most important but untold science stories of our time –
a tale with profound implications for the fate of life on our planet.”

In the 1960s, a small band of young scientists headed out into the wilderness, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works. Immersed in some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth – from the majestic Serengeti to the Amazon jungle; from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tide pools – they discovered a single set of rules which govern all life.

Now in the twilight of their eminent careers, these five unsung heroes of modern ecology share the stories of their adventures. They reveal how their pioneering work flipped our view of nature on its head, and give us a chance to reimagine the world as it could be, and should be.

“This courageous, moving, lithe, necessary and eye-opening documentary dares to demand the truth – a truth that is painful but which is one that every democracy needs to wield…”
— Cineuropa

One of the scientists to be interviewed emailed the filmmakers with terrible news – he had leukemia and it was terminal.

But he also wrote, “I’m in very good spirits and very much looking forward to participating…”

One night, prior to the scheduled shoot, he was expected to die – but didn’t. Amazingly, he insisted on still doing the interview.

“Stunning cinematography and arresting juxtapositions…”
– Screen Daily

What remained of Bob’s life could be counted in minutes. That he was willing to spend it with a film crew was astonishing to all. But it was clear that he saw his work as connected to something bigger than himself.

The obvious discomfort he suffered speaking from a hospital bed, for him, was trivial. What mattered was his story. For him, science was about experimentation and deep thinking. And in the end, science for him was about love.

The film screened at Doc Edge Festival 2019.

Previous festival appearances for The Serengeti Rules include
Wildscreen, UK: winner, Best Theatrical Film

Presented by

Session Time

Auckland | Loft, Q Theatre
Thu 30 May
04:45 PM
Auckland | Rangatira, Q Theatre
Sat 1 Jun
12:15 PM
Wellington | The Roxy 2
Thu 13 Jun
03:00 PM
Wellington | The Roxy 2
Sat 15 Jun
12:00 PM
Wellington | The Roxy 1
Wed 19 Jun
10:00 AM
84 min
United Kingdom, United States
Nicolas Brown