Rwanda’s mountain gorillas, new film


Wildlife Extra writes about this video:

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas star in new documentary – watch it here

April 2014: Mountain gorillas at the Volcanoes National Park are the subject of a new 15 minute documentary entitled Hope which you can watch [above here]. The short film revisits the mountain gorillas at the park, nearly 47 years after Dian Fossey began her work in the region, and explores the extreme, intensive and sometimes dangerous methods employed to protect the great apes.

The film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, takes a historical look back to 1967 when Dian Fossey began her work. Fewer than 300 mountain gorillas remained at the time, their population ravaged by poachers, who for years targeted the gorillas to make money, selling infant gorillas to zoos or the hands and heads of the adults as trophies to wealthy tourists.

Dian Fossey was murdered in 1985, her original research centre destroyed, rebuilt and then destroyed again during the civil war in Rwanda in the 1990s. However, despite adversity, the work never stopped. Today the Karisoke Research Center has a new home where 120 people continue Dian’s work, as the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

The charity employs teams of trackers who follow the gorillas every day. They monitor each gorilla, ensuring its safety and health, risking their lives in a region that is still plagued by violence.

“The number of mountain gorillas had become so depleted in Rwanda by the late 1960s that extreme measures were needed to protect the remaining population and allow it to increase,” said David Attenborough. “The work at the Volcanoes National Park by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International absolutely must continue, if we are to protect this species of great ape, which is still critically endangered. The film Hope will once again bring to light the fragile existence of the mountain gorillas and the work that goes into protecting them. By watching and sharing this very important film you will be helping the people saving the gorillas.”

Ugandan mountain gorilla photos:here.

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Coral life in new film


This video about coral is called Slow Life.

From Wildlife Extra:

The incredible life of coral captured on film

April 2014: Coral as you have never seen before. Film maker Daniel Stoupin has produced a stunning film that captures the secret life of corals, sponges and other marine life in minute, microscopic, detail. filmed under high magnification ‘Slow Life’ illustrates their magical colourful world and transforms your perception.

For far from being the motionless creatures perceived by many, the film actually reveals them as live, graceful, blossoming, sea creatures that operate in a very different timescale to our own.

“‘Slow’ marine life is particularly mysterious. As colorful, bizarre-looking, and environmentally important as we know corals and sponges are, their simple day-to-day life is hidden. Time lapse cinematography reveals a whole different world full of hypnotic motion and my idea was to make coral reef life more spectacular and thus closer to our awareness,” says Daniel in the text that accompanies the film. “I had a bigger picture in my mind for my clip. But after many months of processing hundreds of thousands of photos and trying to capture various elements of coral and sponge behaviour I realized that I have to take it one step at a time. For now, the clip just focuses on beauty of microscopic reef ‘landscapes.’”

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Famous silent film rediscovery


This video is a clip from an old British film. It is called Betty Balfour sings us a song.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Film museum discovers masterpiece

Wednesday, 2 April 2014, 18:07

A top discovery at the Eye Cinema Museum in Amsterdam. In six old cans a copy of a lost film turned out to be from 1923: Love, Life and Laughter by director George Pearson, as the British Film Institute (BFI) announced. The film is on the 75 Most Wanted, a list of films which the BFI does not have in their archives.

The cans were already since November 2012 at Eye in the closet. A journalist from Hattem then gifted them to the museum. He saved the film from the old local cinema Theatre De Vries, because that would be demolished. Which film was in the cans, the journalist did not know. He hoped for images from before World War II and brought them to Eye.

Betty Balfour

Only eighteen months later the staff of Eye had time to watch the contents of the cans. They found the masterpiece of the famous filmmaker Pearson, a silent film that was considered lost by the Britons. Only one other movie by this film maker has been preserved. In Love, Life and Laughter, among others people can see the famous actress Betty Balfour. Balfour was the most successful British actress in the 1920s.

The BFI curator speaks of a very important discovery. “The audience looked at Life , Love and Laughter as one of the most beautiful creations of British cinema. It is fantastic to be able to see now if it really is.”

A video about this rediscovery is here.

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British Prince William killed wildlife a day before his pro-wildlife appeal


This video from Britain says about itself:

Prince Harry Kills Me reinserted into Jeremy Dellers English Magic at Venice Biennale 2013

5 June 2013

The British government’s censoring of Jeremy Deller‘s hypergraphic Harry Kills Me at the 2013 Venice Biennale – which referred to Prince Harry’s role as officer in the British Army in Afghanistan as well as his shooting of endangered hen harriers on one of his family estates … can show us, besides the snivelling servitude of Deller and the bureaucrats of the British Council, some ways that art functions today.

The actions of the council first show how not just politics but how art too is a continuation of war by other means. The passive reaction and collusion of the press in the UK shows how censorship is art made not tongue-tied but triumphant. Meaning is constructed by what is occulted not revealed.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Prince William went hunting a day before launching wildlife appeal

BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell questions timing of trip to hunt deer and wild boar in Spain

Alexandra Topping

Sunday 9 February 2014 12.51 GMT

Prince William went on a deer and wild boar hunting trip in Spain a day before he launched a high-profile appeal to stop the illegal hunting of wildlife, it has emerged.

There is no suggestion the hunting trip was in any way illegal, but critics have suggested that the timing of the holiday was poor, coming before an appeal close to the prince’s heart.

In a message broadcast on Sunday, the Duke of Cambridge and his father, Prince Charles, called on people to help save endangered animals such as rhinos, elephants and tigers.

A royal spokesman said the duke, who quit the RAF last year to lead a new global conservation group, United for Wildlife, was a “passionate advocate” on the subject.

The BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell questioned the timing of the trip, which was also attended by Prince Harry, the Sun reported. “Such a trip is a world away from shooting endangered species for profit, but some may feel that to go hunting himself just as he launches a high-profile campaign is, at the very least, ill-timed,” Witchell said.

A royal spokesman said: “The Duke of Cambridge has for many years been a passionate advocate for endangered wildlife and has campaigned tirelessly to help stop the illegal poaching of rhino horn and elephant tusk. His track record in this area speaks for itself.”

In the broadcast, William and Charles make appeals in languages including Mandarin, Arabic and Swahili to stop the illegal wildlife trade.

Prince Charles, president of the wildlife charity WWF UK, starts the message with a warning that the trade has reached “unprecedented levels of killing and related violence” and poses a threat not only to endangered animals but to economic and political stability around the globe.

He says: “More than 30,000 elephants were killed last year, amounting to nearly 100 deaths per day. In the past 10 years, 62% of African forest elephants have been lost. If this rate continues, the forest elephant will be extinct within 10 years. A rhinoceros is killed every 11 hours. As recently as 100 years ago, there were as many as 100,000 wild tigers living in Asia. Today, there are believed to be fewer than 3,200 left in the wild.”

The duke, who is royal patron of the wildlife conservation charity Tusk Trust, says he wants future generations, including his son, George, to be able to appreciate protected wildlife. “This year, I have become even more devoted to protecting the resources of the Earth for not only my own son but also the other children of his generation to enjoy,” he says.

On Wednesday the duke will attend a United for Wildlife symposium at the Zoological Society of London, followed by an evening reception at the Natural History Museum to mark the start of a high-profile wildlife conference hosted by the British government.

The conference, held at Lancaster House in London, will host policymakers and campaigners from 50 countries, and there will be speeches from Charles and foreign secretary, William Hague.

The conference aims to tackle the wildlife trade by strengthening law enforcement, reducing demand for illegal products and supporting sustainable livelihoods for communities in affected areas, according to the government.

This reminds me of some things.

That His Royal Highness, the Duke of Cambridge, hunted in Spain of all places. reminded me of King Juan Carlos of Spain. Who went to Africa to kill elephants.

This also reminded of the Duke of Cambridge’s brother, Prince Harry. Police accused His Royal Highness of killing two endangered hen harriers. However, British authorities let His Royal Highness off the hook.

It also reminded me of this. The late Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands killed many elephants. Then, he became a big shot in the WWF. He then proposed to kill elephant poachers without trial. However much I am against poaching, I am also against the death penalty; certainly without trial.

WWF Spain recently sacked the king of Spain for elephant killing. So, there is some improvement in some places.

With the gathering of the first United for Wildlife conference in London this week, the subject of international wildlife crime has been very much in the media spotlight. This has stimulated a huge amount of online commentary and debate about our tendency to view wildlife crime as a foreign issue, and whether or not we adhere to our responsibility to practice what we preach: here.

The Angolan government has announced on Thursday in London, UK, its whole concern about the gradual strengthening of the network of people and money associated with wildlife trade and other forms of organised criminal activity: here.

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Afghan war, as seen by a British soldier


This video is called The Patrol – Official Trailer.

By Jeff Sawtell in Britain:

Film: The Patrol (15)

Friday 7th February 2014

War worse than a waste of time

The Patrol (15)

Directed by Tom Petch

4 Stars

After all the Hollywood propaganda films about the war on the world, along comes a more modest offering from Britain suggesting it has been worse than a waste of time.

Written and directed by former soldier Tom Petch, it’s the first British feature film to deal with attitudes to the war from the point of view of the soldiers fighting it.

It questions the veracity of those politicians who described their mission in Afghanistan as one of “reconstruction,” since “we are pulling out in 2014 with 444 dead.”

The film opens to reveal that the patrol of the title is made up of two officers, five regulars and a Territorial Army soldier, representing different ethnic and class origins.

The officers refer to the men as “chaps” while the latter address them as “boss” and between themselves as “Ruperts.”

There are no mass battle scenes. What is depicted is the daily grind, the moans about lack of equipment and armaments and the desire simply to try to avoid being killed.

There are casualties, differences of opinion, insubordination and even accusations of treason – all definitely not in the tradition of the British army.

As we have learnt to our cost that tradition is a lengthy one of lions led by donkeys, the former having to force the latter to face up to reality even though, as the men say, “this is not our war.”

Afghan Civilians Deaths Up 14% in 2013; 35% for Women, Children: here.

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