According to one stat in the documentary Silent Forests, forest elephants in the Congo basin have declined by more than 60 percent over the past ten years.
These animals are not dying; they are getting poached. A market for elephant ivory is booming apparently; otherwise elephants are killed for their meat. To combat the scourge is to turn to technology and the law. But corruption has eaten into the latter.
Silent Forests follows a group of eco-activists doing what they can to prevent poaching. But as they admit they can’t arrest anyone as they are not enabled by law to do so.
A former poacher speaks about his time as a poacher and explains that one way of stopping poaching is for funding to be provided. He stopped engaging in it after receiving funding for a farm.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t sound like a sustainable plan.
The documentary’s director Mariah Wilson stays away from making any judgement. But she is clearly on the side of the animals. Midway through the film, she lavishes screen-time on some animals idly going about their day in the forest. It is a fine moment in a film in a film that discusses violence against animals frequently.
Silent Forests is showing at AFRIFF 2019 and is scheduled to screen on Friday, 15th November 2019.
Time: 2PM Screen: Filmhouse Landmark, Screen 4