Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Last Animals (SIFF 2017) - Documentary Review

The Movie: The Last Animals

The Director: Kate Brooks

The Story: The Last Animals follows the conservationists, scientists and activists battling poachers and criminal networks to save elephants and rhinos from the edge of extinction.

The Review:

"Over 100,000 elephants and 5,000 rhinos were killed in the course of making this film."

Considering it took three years for first time feature director Kate Brooks to put this film together, that's a pretty shocking statement. This same sense of tragedy is what inspired her to make the documentary in the first place and her mission is to bring awareness to the evil that is being wrought around the globe as poachers, traders, and traffickers are literally wiping out entire species from existence for the sake of simple profit. What was most impressive about this film is how Brooks expertly weaves in and out of several different story lines with the intention of showing just how prevalent the problem of poaching really is.

From soldiers to science, there is a war raging against a multi million dollar underground market that is rivaling the drug trade and Brooks shows off every bit of it, even under some seriously dire and dangerous circumstances. Some of the imagery is quite shocking which should be expected from someone whose background is as a conflict photographer having spent years in the  middle east and other war torn areas of the world. Of course, none of it is played simply for shock value, there is a n absolute purpose to each frame of film and that is to show the world what is happening and what can be done about it.

The Verdict:
The Last Animals is an important piece of activist cinema and a seriously strong documentary debut for Kate Brooks. The message is clear. Elephants and rhinos are disappearing way too fast thanks to illegal activity and something must be done to stop it. Not only does Brooks show the plight but also offers solutions that can be put into action if the world bands together and forces the powers that be to do the right thing. Definitely a must watch documentary.

The Last Animals is an official selection of the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

Check out all of our coverage for the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival.

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