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A humble river in north west Germany shows itself to be a natural paradise, where banded demoiselle dragonflies flutter on sapphire wings over the water-meadows, foxes bring up their young, and beavers build their lodges.

Dagmar Hilfert-Rüppell and Georg Rüppell film these butterfly-like flying jewels in breathtaking slow-motion and macro sequences, both above and below the water. They also reveal the fishing techniques of the kingfishers, and of the dippers, the only songbirds that swim and hunt underwater.

This riverine life is fill of mini-dramas, from the mating flights of the male dragonflies to the consummation of their love-wheels and the precision of the females’ egg-laying; from the leaping, insect-grabbing attacks of the frogs to their own desperate attempts to escape the sudden assaults of swimming grass snakes.