Saturday, November 27, 2021



It boggles that mind that human beings have no regard for the safety and well-being of mother nature and those other “souls” they share it with i.e. animals. 

In the compelling documentary — “Killing the Shepherd” directed by Thomas Oprem — he takes a bold stance when asking the important question about poaching aka murdering innocent animals for sport and “profit.” When in fact the most dangerous “animal” in the world is mankind. We are worse than an infectious disease. Humans have created technology that kills, an unfair justice system, we consume meat and are mostly carnivorous bullies, making us the most dangerous animal in our kingdom.

Now that I’ve set the stage for the truth this documentary boldly brings up that big question in the first minutes of this story which is set in Africa. And unless you live in Africa and are making your meager existence out of the needless slaughter of innocent animals, you won’t understand what’s been thrust upon these people for their mere survival. This is a very different game and rigged, to be sure. 

Inside this remote community in Africa, poaching has left this stretch of land unless. Man is so evil and gluttonous that it’s left barely any wildlife alive. A female chief understanding that these safari operators are forced into an impossible situation tries to come up with a solution. 

A female chief in an African community tries to break her people out of poverty by battling wildlife poachers and South African land speculators. An almost impossible task since waging a war on illegal wildlife poaching is deadly work. 

Nonetheless, the chief works to find help and connects with a safari operator and they work together to try and bring stability to the community. But all is not well. Poverty presents challenges like disease, rampant alcoholism, food stability, and basic needs like health care and education. It’s so dire that young girls, after reaching puberty, are sold by their parents as child brides to feed their family for one year. 

There are dark forces that help shape the chaos like the greedy, cold, and immortal land speculators, criminal poaching gangs, and even her people working against the chief.

Will the chief and her community see success?

This particular stretch of Africa is no stranger to violence, and adheres and respects traditions, and leans into local legends. And it’s a heartbreaking place where crime is part of life and even the idea to introduce something tamer, more humane seems impossible to phantom. Where is hope? This is the question that runs through this brutal documentary. And where there is extreme poverty and a lack of hope, opposition to progress and improvement takes hold and constantly shifts into an entirely different kind of threat. 

Opre isn’t afraid to go deep where their environment allows it to go and he always makes sure to keep the focus on the important matters even when it’s such a massive task. This isn’t an easy documentary to watch and it stays with you for a while, so be warned but it’s important (I feel) to watch and share. 

Here you also get to peek inside a world a government intervention and witchcraft are often intertwined. It’s true that hunting is a part of this society but not brutally and obsessively brought on by the evil white society. 

One of the great things about “Killing the Shepherd” is that it will bring up a conversation because everything on the earth impacts each other. Question: how much longer can we sustain a system that strips Mother Earth? We need to listen and more to the point, we need to hear. 

Change is needed and not in a temporary bandaid kind of way. Our world needs healing, understanding, change, and above all — hope.

“Killing the Shepherd” is the start of that essential conversation. 

Will the chief and her community see success?


"This film is a must-see for anyone interested in wildlife and conservation," Professor Adam Hart - University of Gloucestershire (UK) - BBC Presenter

"A stunning film," Dan Mindel - ASC, BSC, SASC (DP - Star Wars Episodes VII & IX), Star Trek: Into Darkness, Mission Impossible III


 “Killing the Shepherd” is written and directed by Thomas Opre, and produced by Stephen Duringer, Robert Gordon, Matt Hartle, and Thomas Opre.

#HumanRights, #Wildlife #Poaching, #Conservation, #Woman’sEmpowerment #SouthAfrica #Elephants #Lions

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