Tobias Mennle film production
"Bears in the Mountains of Heaven" (2014), coproduction with WDR. It was my most exciting, most difficult, most rewarding film project ever including two near misses (one suicidal cardriver and one angry bear).
Kazakhstan - what would the steppe be without the freedom of the horses?
The family life of Tien Shan brown bears has never been filmed before. Small wonder - the Mountains of Heaven are still a rugged wilderness, and almost everywhere poachers try to kill the bears, so I did not expect a warm welcome from the animals...
Here´s a little meditation about the beauty of the steppe summer. The land dries up in the heat. But where there is water, life still thrives.
I wonder if that lovely willow tree still exists, the whole area is now being converted into a big mine (presumably because of rare earths for our mobile phones).
Thanks to mother bear for letting us watch her life with her cubs for a while. I hope you and your kids will be fine and not shot and sold to China in little pieces. Thanks to G. Conze from WDR/Adventure Earth for commissioning me. Thanks to Dagmar Schreiber for essential help in Kazakhstan, and to Micha for guiding and everything. A guy to steal horses with - fortunately we did not have to.
More information about the nature of the Kazakh steppe at my friend Maxim Koshkin´s site http://kazakhsteppe.com/index.php/en/