Franz Hafner
Franz Hafner

Asia’s Amazon – The Forbidden River

Between the two super-powers Russia and China lies a lost world, long inaccessible to foreigners but home to millions of wild animals – the sprawling basin of the Amur river, one of the planet's ten mightiest rivers yet hardly known to Westerners. Its headwaters are in Mongolia. For 2,000 kilometers, it forms the border between Russia and China. Some 5,000 kilometers from its source, it feeds into the Pacific Ocean. The richly varied wild ecosystems along its course include expanses of steppe, mountain tundra, virgin boreal forests, vast floodplains and wetlands, subtropical forests and the pristine coast of the northern Pacific. Its western half is under the regime of a harsh and extreme continental climate; its eastern half, with China's and some of Russia’s vastest wetlands, belong to the realm of the monsoon.

The Series
In three episodes, the film explores the unspoilt natural world along the river and its tributaries and tells amazing stories of the wildlife and traditional communities that battle to survive in a unique and, to western eyes, largely unknown environment. This is a visual and dramatic journey of discovery along the mighty Amur river, an expedition into a lost and exotic world.

The journey is divided into three episodes, each reflecting the changing face of the landscape and its wildlife. Every episode captures the character of a particular territory, with self-contained stories of the natural world and its exotic diversity. The series also gives context by its insights into the traditional communities of humans who have learned to survive in such a remote and harsh environment.

Film's website

Team Partner
Nikolaus Klingohr, producer
Producer / Production Details
Terra Mater Factual Studios
Training Programme
Masterschool 2011