In light of recent developments, Hogarth made Elephant Refugees to make people aware of the latest issues.
Coming to VOD/Digital on Nov 18 Worldwide
When a documentary title is simply called Elephant Refugees, it’s easy to realise they have no place to call home and somewhere, humans are mistreating them. In respect to the latter, when Botswana banned elephant poaching in 2014, these gentle mammals knew there’s a haven to flock to and it’s perfectly documented. Their migration was unexpected, and it generated problems and provoked humanity to re-evaluate their accord with the gentle beast.
What’s studied in this documentary by Louise Hogarth goes beyond studying our rapport with this majestic fellow. The last work I reviewed was When Elephants Were Young, which concerned the latter–exploiting them for tourism and labour. With this latest, the focus is on how we can help them. But at what cost? When they proved to be a unexpected boon to a region that’s been opening up to eco-tourism, to move them away is required when they start devestating the area in search for water. In regards to the Moller family’s ironically named camp site and bush lodge, Elephant Sands, the pros and cons about keeping them around or sending them away need to be weighed.
One night in modern Bangkok will not make any member of the native Thai tribes heralding their mammoth pet around the streets humble after watching When Elephants Were Young. This documentary is made by local filmmakers Patricia Sims and Michael Clark, and narrated by William Shatner. It is excellent at showing how these creatures should be treated with respect instead of used. This gentle beast is revered, but sadly the old traditions are seen without truly understanding where the native culture of keeping them “as pets” was once okay. Bob Dylan’s song, “The Times They Are a-Changin’” is one way to sum up the how the film moves and this film nicely reveals where attitudes are headed.
World Elephant Day (August 12, 2016) is championing preventing the Asian elephant from going extinct. Large steps are being made by the government to see the animal get saved. Ever since they got domesticated for warfare during Ancient Greek times, if not used in jungle warfare in India, their relationship with man has been an uneasy one. Are they working animals, creatures to be paraded around in zoos, or what? This film looks at their roles in human society today, focusing specifically in the relationship Wok, a mahout (elephant guardian), has with Nong Mai, an elephant he’s taken care of for at least a decade. He’s part of the Kui tribe and they have to adapt to modern times.