The Velvet Queen (La panthère des neiges)

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Synopsis

In the heart of the Tibetan highlands, multi-award-winning nature photographer Vincent Munier guides writer Sylvain Tesson on his quest to document the infamously elusive snow leopard. Munier introduces Tesson to the subtle art of waiting from a blind spot, tracking animals, and finding the patience to catch sight of the beasts. Through their journey in the Tibetan peaks, inhabited by invisible presences, the two men ponder humankind's place amongst the magnificent creatures and glorious landscapes they encounter along the way.

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Metacritic

67
Dec 23, 2021

Whether it prompts genuine introspection, or even inspires further conversation on what Tesson argues, may provide some measure of how effective the film is. But whether or not viewers put any stock in his proclamations, it’s also perfectly OK to simply celebrate the grandeur in nature that the documentary exalts.

Tambay Obenson
IndieWire
90
Dec 21, 2021

Gorgeous, humbling, looking out-, up- and inward, the documentary The Velvet Queen is the rare nature film about not only beauty and beasts but also the very human urge to make sense of our place in it all.

Metacritic review by Robert Abele
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
63
Dec 21, 2021

Long stretches of the film are simply mesmerizing, but both Sylvain Tesson’s written compositions and the conversation between him and Vincent Munier often lapse into clichés about the distractions and decadence of modern society.

Metacritic review by Pat Brown
Pat Brown
Slant Magazine