Who looks on the sea, sees it for the first time,

Every time, with the wonder distilled

From elementary things – from beautiful

Evenings, the moon, the leap of a bonfire.

Who is the sea, and who am I?  The day

That follows my last agony shall say.

—“El mar” by Jorge Luis Borges from El otro, el mismo, Translated by John Updike.


For poet, naturalist, and first-time filmmaker Alfredo Lichter, this poem was “a revelation.” Featuring breathtaking footage of Argentina’s stunning natural beauty, Natural History traverses the landscape of the ‘pampa gringa’ in the province of Córdoba, where Italian immigrants settled in the late 19th century, to Buenos Aires, and down Route 3 to Península Valdés in Patagonia. It is here that Southern right whales in the Patagonian Sea captured the imagination of the filmmaker, and where, after years of research and intense work, he founded Ecocentro, a cultural center that combines art and science focusing on the sea. The journey continues down to the coast of Tierra del Fuego where a stranded ship awaits….