Soul of the Elephant (2015) — Botswana
Wildlife film makers Dereck and Beverly Joubert have spent thirty years filming, researching, and exploring the animal life in Africa, resulting in 10 books, 22 films, and numerous awards. In this documentary film, the Jouberts take us to the remote parts of their native Botswana (a five-day drive to the nearest town) to observe the lives of wild elephants. So wild and remote that it's not unusual to find sun-bleached skulls that still have their ivory tusks intact. Not even the poachers are here. With brains that are five times as large as ours, their intelligence, emotional life, family groups, social structures, and clans as large as 400 elephants all point to remarkably sophisticated sentience. It's a spiritual experience to watch them hover over and caress the skeletal remains of their kin. Is this memory? Curiosity? Grief? In addition to the elephants, we also see hippos battling in the rivers, lions attacking wildebeest, crocodiles, and bird life. This 53-minute movie premiered on the PBS show "Nature" on October 14, 2015, and is now available for viewing for free on the PBS website. It would make a fantastic film for family night.