“My Octopus Teacher” is an intoxicating, sensorially rich and tender story about a man’s very human relationship with an alien creature. There, he shows us a world so mystical and foreign, it is difficult to accept that such a place even exists.

Foster’s want to explore the wild unknown is what attracted him back to this kelp forest, a place that he grew up exploring but eventually left behind. It was just when he began documenting the Kalahari individuals — African tribesmen who trace animals based on the nuanced, near-invisible paths they leave behind — which something clicked. He discovered that”they were inside of the organic world, and I could feel that I had been outdoors.”

Years later, he burns out and temporarily stops filmmaking. Throughout that two-year period, he says he felt lost, purposeless. It is here that we see the majesty of ocean wildlife and also understand why Foster is so enamored by it. Foster, who participates with no wetsuit or tank, believes that this is the ideal method to connect with his environment. Soon, he introduces us to the movie’s protagonist, who’s only known as”her”

He sees her to the sea floor: She’s an octopus who is cleverly wrapped himself in aquatic debris. But why? This odd discovery not only reignites his fascination, but also his passion for documentary filmmaking. Each and every day, Foster dives in search of this octopus, tentatively leaving behind cameras in an effort to document her day-to-day life. This distanced approach to understanding her just goes so much — she does is knock over the camera, or even hit it like it is some foreign invader. Then, one day,”it just happens”: Foster cautiously moves his hand, and she extends her tentacle, getting contact.

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This pivotal moment not merely solidifies their faith, but matches Foster’s aim to incorporate himself in the natural world. It is just after the two bond he’s able to correctly record her own life — and her ingenuity. Throughout, we see stunning sequences where the octopus uses”incredible creativity to fool” by mimicking her environment. In the end, according to Foster, she’s basically a snail without a shell, and have to rely on her intellect to survive the numerous apex predators within her orbit.

However, their distinctive relationship is not an easy one to keep. After spending almost two weeks with her, one day, he accidentally startles her and she awakened. Subsequently, he embarks on an ambitious weeklong investigation. Using skills he’s observed from the Kalahari, he is able to gradually follow her path. No more abalone shell or dismembered crab leg has been left unturned during his search. Finally, the two meet again, and she even greets him out of her dwelling. To Foster, it is still a mystery as to what, precisely, the octopus is getting from their unlikely relationship.