In the Kenyan bush, a small-time ivory dealer fights to stay on top while forces mobilize to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline.

 Image: Alex Pritz

Image: Alex Pritz

COMPLETED

Filmmaker: Jon Kasbe
Country: USA
Runtime: 52', 79'
Year: 2018
Format: HD

 

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STORY

In a Kenyan town bordering wildlife conservation land, two men try to hold onto their
increasingly fragile status quo. A small-time ivory dealer fights to stay on top while forces
mobilize to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger
who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline.

The plummeting elephant population in Africa has captured the attention of the world. And as
the government cracks down, the poachers face their own existential crisis. For them,
conservationists are not only winning their campaign to value elephant life over its ivory, but
over human life as well. Who are these hunters who will risk death, arrest and the moral outrage
of the world to provide for their families?

Director Jon Kasbe followed the film’s subjects over a three-year period, gaining an
extraordinary level of access and trust as he became part of their everyday lives. The result is a
rare and visually arresting look through the perspectives and motives of the people at the
epicenter of the conservation divide.


Press

“A genuine dramatic punch" - Screen Daily

“Remarkably nuanced” - Screen Anarchy

"Supple, complex, and darkly gorgeous" - The Playlist

“Cinema at its best…what every documentary aspires to be"  - Indie NYC

“A lively and crackling drama” - Moveable Fest

“Takes your breath away shot after shot” - Unseen Films

“A testament to the power of embedded filmmaking” - Film Festival Today


Credits

Director & producer: Jon Kasbe

Producers: Innbo Shim, Tom Yellin, Andrew Harrison Brown

Director of Photography: Jon Kasbe

Editors: Frederick Shanahan, Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene

Composer: West Dylan Thordson

Executive Producers: Matthew Heineman, Isaac Lee, Erick Douat, Nicolás Ibargüen, Juan Rendón, Daniel Eilemberg


Awards

Best Editing in a Documentary Film - Tribeca Film Festival 2018

 

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Tribeca Film Festival 2018

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2018

Zurich Film Festival 2018