True story behind Netflix moving documentary My Octopus Teacher

Viewers are calling the new film the "best thing" they've seen on Netflix all year!

My Octopus Teacher

Netflix’s latest documentary My Octopus Teacher has got everyone talking.


The film tells the moving story of a man named Craig Foster, who formed a unique friendship with an octopus who first became his subject the teacher, showing him things no human had ever witnessed before.

Shot over eight years, with 3000 hours of footage, My Octopus Teacher documents a unique friendship, interaction and animal intelligence never seen before.

So, what is it about My Octopus Teacher that fans just can’t seem to get enough of?

Here’s everything you need to know about the Netflix film.

My Octopus Teacher about true story 

After years spent filming some of the planet’s most dangerous animals, Craig Foster was burned out, depressed and his family relationships in turmoil.

He decided to put a halt to his career to reconnect with his own roots – the magical underwater world of the kelp forest off the coast of his hometown – Cape Town, South Africa.

For nearly a decade, Craig went diving daily in the icy cold waters, ditching his wetsuit and scuba rig in one of the most predator dense places on earth.

He met his first subject when he stumbled across one octopus. The common creature then became his teacher, showing him things he’d never seen before.

In the film, Foster describes the impact on his life of his relationship with the octopus.

My Octopus Teacher
My Octopus Teacher

The film shows the octopus defending herself against pyjama sharks. In one attack, the octopus loses an arm and then retreats to her den to recover and restores the arm.

Later on in the film, after mating with another octopus and producing a large number of eggs, the octopus dies and the film shows a shark taking her body away.

Foster has described the effect of his experience with the octopus on his relationship with his son, and his son’s development as a diver and student of marine life.

Speaking of his relationship with the octopus, he said: “She was teaching me to become sensitised to the other…You slowly start to care about all the animals. Even the tiniest little animals… you realise that everyone is very important.”

What has been said about My Octopus Teacher?

Since the film dropped on the streaming site, viewers have been overwhelmed with emotions.

Sharing her thoughts on the doc, one fan commented on Twitter: “Oh wow. This is the most deeply touching nature film documentary I’ve seen. The beauty and power of Craig Foster’s story is so captivating and inspiring. I felt so immersed in his world while being reminded of the fragility of nature. #MyOctopusTeacher”

Another said: “#Netflix #MyOctopusTeacher best program I have ever watched my life. Thank you so much I am grateful.”

My Octopus Teacher trailer

There sure is, and it’s just as heart warming as the rest of the film. Watch with tissues!


My Octopus Teacher is available to stream on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best series on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix, or see what else is on with our TV Guide.