There is a puma paradise at the end of the world – a stronghold for these magnificent cats, amidst the mountain wilderness of Patagonia in South America. Torres del Paine National Park in Chile provides everything for pumas to survive and thrive: plenty of space to roam the region, vast herds of guanacos to prey on, and no competition from other large predators.
This two-part documentary tells the amazing and dramatic story of a bloodline of pumas, from mother to daughter, and further on to the next generation. It is an intimate story, moving, sad, joyful – all set against some of the most spectacular landscapes in South America.
Our film begins in the snow, as a solitary puma mother attends to her four kittens in the shadow of Torres del Paine. Her name is Solitaria, her spotted female cub is the beautiful girl, La Bella Casadora, and part one of our tale begins – “Birth”.
We follow Solitaria through the difficulties of early motherhood, as she develops techniques to outsmart the guanaco herds and avoid conflict with other pumas in the area. Some of the most breathtaking, almost otherworldly scenery is the backdrop to amazing hunting and family behavior with these cats.
But tragedy strikes, and she is isolated and goes missing, the cubs stranded and left to their own survival. That is what happens in this place, one of the harshest on the planet. The odds of cubs this age surviving is remote. But…
Part two is called “Rebirth” – and it starts with a strange cat wandering the hilltops. At least she seems strange, but she’s no stranger to the area from the way she moves around, swimming the river, crossing places that only a cat with experience could know.
She is young, vibrant, a little clumsy for a puma, and her immediate hunting tactics leave a lot to be desired. She fails spectacularly. But she also seems to have knowledge of where the guanacos go to breed and fight and give birth. She is the beautiful Casadora, who somehow survived a summer all alone. And while her siblings vanished and never showed up again, she made it back to her mother Solitaria’s valley.
She is the bloodline of these mountains and lakes. She is the future of pumas in Torres del Paine…
This production was filmed over three years – a two-part journey into one of the most beautiful places on Earth. It leads through two seasons, through ice storms, over frozen lakes and melting rivers, and it follows two generations of hunting mountain lions, these pumas, these legends of the ice mountains.
A Terra Mater Factual Studios / Wildlife Films production in co-production with Thirteen Productions LLC and Doclights/NDR Naturfilm in association with PBS, CPB, Vision Hawk Films and National Geographic Channels