Kifaru, the Swahili word for rhino, is the kind of documentary that can only happen once. The film follows 3 caretakers of the last male northern white rhinoceros, named Sudan after the place where he was born. The last days of Sudan’s 40 years on Earth take place at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, about 3 hours outside of Nairobi in the shadow of Mt. Kenya, in the company of 2 of his female offspring.
His 3 human caretakers, Jacob, JoJo (short for Joseph), and James risk their lives to protect these 3 beautiful creatures from poachers. We witness the care they take, the requirements of making sure Sudan and his family are safe and able to be as wild as highly protected animals can be. Jacob, JoJo and James are struggling to find purpose in protecting the last of a species while understanding that their job is as important as almost any job out there – both for their personal family and the global community.
We also see Ringo, an orphaned baby rhino brought to the Conservancy and allowed to play with the elder statesman, Sudan. Act as a spokesman for his species, Sudan helps people who visit the protected area to understand why conservation and ending the trade of ivory and rhino horns is so important. The final scenes of the film hardly come as a surprise, as it made world news a year ago, but its effect is as devastating as you’d predict. Kifaru captures the importance of protecting species and the sadness of humanity’s failures to do so.
Saturday, Apr 27, 8:30 PM, Isabel Bader Theatre
Sunday, Apr 28, 10:00 AM, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1
Friday, May 3, 4:00 PM, Fox Theatre