All animals come from a single cell that, after being fertilized, divides and produces millions of specialized cells. But not every day we have the opportunity to observe the process in the very first close-up.
The Dutchman Jan van IJken spent three weeks recording the embryonic development of an Alpine newt, a kind of European
The short film is called Becoming and has been screened at more than 20 international festivals. “In the film we can observe a universal process that is normally invisible: the very beginning of the life of an animal,” says van IJken on his website. “A single cell is transformed into a complete and complex living organism, with a beating heart and a bloodstream.”
Once its organs have formed and the triton has emerged from the egg, it feeds on plankton until legs grow and can move to the ground. Someday it will return to lay its eggs in shallow waters, where its larvae will be born and will repeat this universal process of life.