South African Film Festival 2020

Stroop & Sides of a Horn

Expired November 12, 2020 12:00 AM
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Two filmmakers explore the war for rhino horn, a commodity now worth more than its weight in gold. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, move in with their mothers and give up nearly four years of their lives to document not just the rhinos, but the various people connected to this iconic animal.  

In this roller-coaster ride between Africa and Asia, the two filmmakers embed themselves on the frontlines of a species genocide where they are given exclusive access to the enforcement aspect of the fight. From rangers, pilots and K9 units patrolling the hardest hit national parks to elite police units raiding wildlife trafficking dens in major cities... they find themselves in some hair-raising situations. They also take an uncomfortable look at the role that apartheid played in marginalizing indigenous people who have been excluded from their wildlife heritage, but live side-by-side with ranger families while poaching syndicates operate in their villages.

At the demand site in Asia, the women venture deep undercover, filming in totalitarian regimes where every day means staying ahead of communist party monitors as well as enduring dangerous encounters with illegal wildlife dealers. On their return, they work with a Vietnamese researcher bravely trying to expose rhino horn sales inside African markets. Internationally a red line of trade has been set-up by nations tussling with each other and the filmmakers wade right into this no-go area, spending time with the elite power-brokers who can change, for better or worse, the plight of the planet’s last living rhinos. 

Content advisory: contains some scenes with cruelty to animals

Thanks to our community partner Reel Causes.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    127 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    South Africa
  • Director
    Susan Scott
  • Screenwriter
    Susan Scott
  • Producer
    Bonné de Bod, Susan Scott
  • Executive Producer
    Peter Eastwood, Walter Hirzebruch, Christopher Parker, Magda Simon, Robert Simon
  • Cinematographer
    Susan Scott
  • Editor
    Susan Scott
  • Sound Design
    Adrian Scott, Susan Scott