This in-depth look into the powerhouse industries of big-game hunting, breeding and wildlife conservation in the U.S. and Africa unravels the complex consequences of treating animals as commodities.
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★★★½ review by Niall Blackie on Letterboxd
Seen as part of the 52 Films by Women pledge 2017 - film number 59.
While I found myself getting really involved in the premise of the film, examining the issue of big game trophy hunting from both sides, I do have to recognise the weaknesses in the film.
I found myself getting more and more angry towards the buffoons on screen trying to justify them hunting or raising these animals to be hunted which the documentary clearly set out to get you to do however, the film for me lacked any real narrative arc. If there had been more of a structure to the story it was telling and the arguments on both sides of the fence, well then I feel I may have been more invested in the movie, going away to find out more about the subject matter and not just felt myself getting angry at the screen which was what happened.
★★★★ review by Steven Sheehan on Letterboxd
For all the insight they can bring, watching documentaries can be pretty bad for your health. If the urgent messages posed by many were all to be treated equally it would be hard to get out of bed in the morning. This year alone we've had an exposé on mass sporting corruption, a strong reminder about the dangers of global warming and a call to arms to protect the building blocks of the ocean floor, to name but a few. Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz’s documentary, Trophy, is another to add to that list, although it presents a much more complicated picture about big-game hunting than you might first imagine.
Making an even handed film about animal trophy hunters is a tough ask in a climate where the hatred shown towards them is at an all-time high. It's a divisive subject, much like many others around the world at the moment, and the two directors do an admirable job in taking a non-judgemental stance about such a sensitive topic. What started out as a clear cut anti-hunting documentary unearthed a complex eco-system far removed from the black and white arguments made by pro and anti-hunters living outside of the African continent.
★★★★ review by Mark Dujsik on Letterboxd
The detailed explanation of the anticipation is restated later in Trophy, although, this time, it comes from someone whose job to protect the wildlife of a national park in Africa. At times, he has to kill one of those animals, because it might be interfering with the local population or people need food. There's a process to this—an agreement based on local custom and necessity. The park official understands it, and so, when he must, he will kill an animal.
See my full review at Mark Reviews Movies.
★★★½ review by Andrew on Letterboxd
A lot of parallels here to the superior Cartel Land, but a little more disjointed. Still, a good story, an important one, and this film does show how interwoven the industry is. It's certainly many shades of gray.
★★★½ review by robbiez666 on Letterboxd
Trophy is a thought-provoking documentary which approaches conservation and hunting from an unusual answer.
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