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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


IMAX Born to Be Wild 3D
Directed by David Lickley
Warner Home Video 04/11 DVD/VHS Documentary

We can live in peace and harmony with all the earth's creatures once we give up the big lie of human superiority over animals. Sadly, we have a long way to go. That is why it is both helpful and healing to have family films like this excellent documentary on two women who have dedicated their lives to taking care of orphaned elephants and orangutans and preparing them to be released into the wild.

Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas, a world renowned primatologist, heads a nursery in the rainforests of Borneo, where she and her staff look after orangutans who have been orphaned or abandoned when their habitat was destroyed. The babies are each assigned a human mother to care for their needs and expose them to situations where they can learn what orangutans do in the jungle. The scenes of the young ones swinging on vines from tree to tree are enchanting. So is their free expression of feelings and affection.

Meanwhile in the game preserves of Kenya, wildlife expert Dame Daphne M. Sheldrick provides a safe and loving home for baby elephants who have been rescued. Attentive children will learn a lot from watching these amazing animals and their activities and personalities. Elephants are herd animals, so the young ones are encouraged to play together. When it is time for them to return to the wild, they are taken to a halfway station where a herd of past orphans, now grown up, come to meet them; this is a stunning scene.

Morgan Freeman serves as the narrator for this documentary. It is a tribute to two now elderly women who model for us an alternative to subjugating and controlling animals. For more on their work check out these websites:

Special features on the Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD combo include wonderfully wild webisodes: Borneo/Kenya/Camp Leakey; "Wild" filmmaking; and "Caregivers."


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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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