by Kees van den Brom ©
Kees van den Brom sent the following touching poem to Cinéma Humain for International Rhino Day (22 September 2012). Thank you very much for the generous contribution!
by Reina-Marie Loader
I started writing this post at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on my way back to the UK (11 August 2012). One of the major objectives of the second research trip for HORN was to film wild rhino on publicly/governmentally owned land. To this purpose, we went to the Kruger National Park – the area in South Africa that has been most affected by poaching. In the two weeks we spent there, I was surprised when we found rhino twenty-four times in total. Not all of these were filmable of course, but still … a staggering number!
It struck me at the time that seeing as many rhino is not indicative to the actual gravity of the situation and tourists visiting the area might regard the situation as exaggerated or even misrepresented. However, this is not the case as confirmed reports of slain rhino keep rolling in. The reality of the threat and the silence of SANParks were again enforced to me just before I arrived at the airport. OSCAP notably reported that there are strong rumours that the Kruger was heavily struck during the two-week period we were in the park. It is rumoured that over 30 rhino were killed in the Kruger alone! It is now known that in the month of August, Kruger lost 40 of its rhino. Moreover, the NWCRU (National Wildlife Crime Reaction Unit) revealed yesterday that the rhino death toll now stands at 373 at the beginning of September. This suggests that the number of poached rhino will vastly exceed last year’s total of 448. This overwhelming reality was however not at all apparent while we were in the park. The question is, why not?Read More»
by Reina-Marie Loader
It has been suggested to me recently that I accompany the development and production of HORN with a series of related posts on the Cinéma Humain website. The reasoning behind the suggestion was that it could provide useful scholarly information for students and filmmakers of documentary. First hand posts, it was argued, will not only document how I am making the film, but it will also constructively address the various difficulties a young independent filmmaker may face when dealing with a highly controversial and often inaccessible topic.
I have carefully considered this suggestion over the last couple of weeks, since there are various pros and cons attached to writing about the production of a film in such a context.Read More»
by Allison Thomson
THE RESUMPTION OF TRADE IN RHINOCEROS HORN AND THE ASSOCIATED RISKS POSED BY LEGALISED TRADE AS A POTENTIAL CONTRIBUTOR TO THE EXTINCTION OF SOUTH AFRICA’S FREE-RANGING RHINO
A. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- The economic models proposed in favour of legalizing trade in rhinoceros horn to eradicate poaching are based on economically flawed assumptions. On that basis alone, any formal consideration of legalizing trade is misguided, dangerous and could lead to increased demand and the ultimate extinction of the rhinoceros in the wild.
- There is no evidence that legalizing trade will prevent poaching. On the contrary, legalizing trade has the potential of increasing poaching to devastating and unsustainable levels which will see a decline in real terms of rhino populations.
- There are a multitude of factors that have influenced the rise and fall of global rhinoceros populations. As a consequence and in isolation, it is disingenuous to blame the CITES ban for the increase in poaching. It is undeniably the demand for rhinoceros horn that promotes poaching. Stricter enforcement will go a long way in solving the poaching crisis.
- Effective enforcement by both local and international enforcement agencies is critically important in the global effort to eradicate / mitigate future poaching.
- Wildlife farming / ranching has proven to be a low employment sector of the domestic economy. The implementation of the growth objectives proposed by the Honourable Minister, Mr Martinus van Schalkwyk, at the launch of the first ever National Tourism Sector Strategy and the associated increase in the tourism sector’s contribution to national GDP, entrenches the sector’s potential as an important contributor to South Africa’s economic prospects and the well-being of her people as a whole.
March 2012, Cutting Silence was part of an exhibition in Mistelbach’s Barockschlössl, Austria. The exhibition was planned in conjunction with International Women’s Day. Specifically, it focused on the movements and experiences of Africa women around the globe. Here is what some members of the public, who attended the gala opening, were saying about the film:
Cutting Silence tells its story with dignity and yet with an intensity that cuts the viewer to the soul. Handling the theme of female genital mutilation in a medium that uses dramatic elements, calls for especial sensitivity coupled with exceptional courage. Profoundly researched, its production clearly carried out meticulously, this film is even further enhanced by director Reina-Marie Loader’s sharing of her knowledge on the subject of female genital mutilation in a personal verbal communication when she attends the presentation of the film. This is a production that thoroughly deserves to be viewed and re-viewed, may its echo not fall silent as long as its theme remains a harsh reality of life.