Director: Paul Schwarz, Christinea Clusiau
Language: English, Africaan with English subtitles
Country of Origin: UK-Namibia-South Africa-Zimbabwe-USA 2017 108 mins. (15)
Released by Munro Film Services
The image of fake smile Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer next to Cecil the lion caused public outrage. Paul Schwarz’s and Christina Clusiau’s documentary 'Trophy' explores the contentious issue of trophy hunting and conservation and the blurring of the lines with the suggestion that all-inclusive guided safaris for hunters partially subsidises conservation.
Texas sheep breeder and recreational hunter Philip Glass introduces his son to the kill, Rhino breeder John Hume's solution to illegal poaching of rhino for their horns is to legalise the sale of rhino horn and Chris Moore, a Zimbabwean wildlife officer's anti-poaching campaign is partially subsidized by big-game hunters like Philip Glass. Las Vegas has a hunt and kill auction. Take your pick. 50 thousand dollars can book an elephant kill. It's all available in the meat market and the Big 5 is the ultimate - Buffalo, Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, the latter being a 350 thousand dollar layout. South Africa has its caged breeding farms - animals ready to be selected for cash rich, thrill seekers and it's suggested that 70 percent of the hunters are from America and Canada. They pose next to the kill for trophy images, offer the meat to the villagers and the trophy will take pride of place on the wall. The camera follows Philip Glass on his quest for the Big 5 and biblical privilege is quoted - 'God gave man dominance over the animals' as the pose is struck and the images are taken. And the latest insult - the Trump administration is revoking the ban on elephant trophies from Zimbabwe an Zambia. Am I surprised? No.
It's not sport, it's not hunting, it's killing.