Tuesday, December 10, 2019

AIFF2019: Last Night I Watched A Rhino Die [UPDATED]

Kifaru documented the death of the last male white rhino in the world through the eyes of the men who take care of him and his two daughters.  Slowly he decayed until he could pull up on his two front legs, but not his hind legs.  We learned a little about the Kenyan caregivers, but mostly this movie was documenting extinction.  Watching what consumerism is doing to destroy the earth -  coveting goods (like rhino horns) and the deforestation and other environmental degradation exploiting natural resources causes.

Of course, coveting was noted in the bible, so modern capitalism didn't invent it.  But modern capitalism took it to an unprecedented level, putting profit (mostly short term) above everything else.  Most people don't know the concept of externalities.  Theoretically capitalism is supposed to be the most efficient form of production.  Producers are supposed to be as efficient as possible so they can keep the price low enough to beat their competitors. But one of the problems of capitalism is externalities.  These are the costs that the producers impose on society, but that aren't captured in the price of their goods.  Pollution is the most common example used - the loss of clean water and air, for example, imposes huge costs on society.  These examples used to be about the health costs and some cleanup costs.  But now we see the loss of habitat, the loss of affordable housing, deaths from legal drugs, etc.  

And the loss of rhinos and hundreds of thousands of other less dramatic species.  

The death the last male northern rhino should make people think about seriously rethinking their lives.  Sudan (the rhino's name) is just the symbol, the catalyst, but the damage climate change is already causing should make us all ready to drastically reduce humanity's carbon footprint.  (The link discusses options for where to contribute to projects that do that.)

[UPDATE Dec 10, 2019:  I ran across this Al Jazeera Tweet just now

NOTE:  KPBS says the baby is a southern white rhino (not a northern white rhino, like Sudan) and
The calf is the first baby rhino born using artificial insemination at the San Diego Zoo facility.
The mom, Victoria, carried her baby for more than 490 days.
Victoria is one of six southern white rhinos that could become surrogate moms for the critically endangered northern white rhinos.]
Mr. Sam and other "WTF!?!?" Shorts

After Sudan left the world and chunks of his flesh were taken in hopes of using his DNA one day to recreate white norther rhinos, the shorts program started.  

We saw six shorts that were, in my mind, what film festivals are about.


Mr. Sam was my favorite - demonstrating my bizarre taste.  Not everyone afterward agreed.  But I love the imagination that created this odd character and the story the film maker put him into.  Others in the program are also worth noting:

Maintain Yourself took an oddly shaped doll and a shelf full of small, colorful flasks, and proceeded to 'groom' the doll with the contents of the flasks.  It was particularly poignant since during the intermission we'd seen a preview for the movie Toxic Beauty which highlighted the tens of thousands of chemicals in cosmetics people use.  

The Phantom 52 featured an animated truck driver calling out to others over his CB radio with a background them of various kinds of whales calling out to their distant brethren.  Some wonderful images.  

Eternity  - This Ukrainian film took place in 2058 and was about 'digitizing' the souls of dying people and placing them in digital worlds for eternity.  I got that part, but the details were a little confusing.  But it was worth watching.

Hearth - was the creepiest for me.  A couple goes from one  luxury AirBnB to the next, where they then use a dating app to lure gentlemen to their last tryst.  Very well done.  AirBnB and other hosting sites do not want prospective hosts to see this film, I'm sure.

The Dig  -  She's getting married tomorrow and she wants her brother to help her get her mom's ring before the wedding.  

A wonderfully disturbing (in the sense of forcing you think) set of films.  If one of them gets the audience award or best narrative shorts award, you might be able to see it Sunday when they will be showing the award winners.  

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.