Saturday, November 25, 2017

Tag: Shaul Schwarz

Aida’s Secrets (2016)?

Title: Aida’s Secrets
Rating: NR
Directed by: Alon Schwarz, and Shaul Schwarz
Written by: Halil Efrat, and Alon Schwarz
Starring: Izak Sagi, Shep Shell, and Aida Zasadsinska
Release Date: 10/20/2017
Running Time: 90 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
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What did you think of this film?
In this moving documentary, the discovery of records from WWII sparks a family’s quest for answers as two brothers separated as babies reunite with each other and their elderly mother, who hid more from them than just each other.

Izak Szewelwicz was born in the Bergen-Belsen displaced persons camp in 1945 and sent for adoption in Israel. Though Izak was able to form a relationship with his birth mother, his life was turned upside down years later when he located not only his birth certificate, but also another of a brother he never knew existed.


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Trophy (2017)?

Title: Trophy
Rating: NR
Directed by: Christina Clusiau, and Shaul Schwarz
Release Date: 9/8/2017
Running Time: 108 minutes

Official Site
IMDb
Buy on Amazon

What did you think of this film?
Shaul Schwarz’s and Christina Clusiau’s Trophy explores the complex heart of contemporary issues of animal conservation and commodification at a time when endangered African species such as elephants, rhinos and lions march ever closer to extinction.

Trophy follows Philip Glass, a Texas-based sheep breeder and life-long hunter who is on a quest to collect the “Big Five” (elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, and rhino). Philip is deeply connected to the land and animals. He spends days or weeks tracking animals in their natural environment before getting his kill. He considers himself a conservationist, and believes the dollars he spends hunting in Africa go back to local communities and help preserve the animals he covets for future generations. This is an argument echoed in the work of Chris Moore, a Zimbabwean wildlife officer whose anti-poaching campaign is partially subsidized by big-game hunters like Philip. Chris works with government authorities and communities to keep people safe from wild animals. He also protects those animals from ruthless poachers. The great irony of Chris’s work is that he goes to “extreme lengths” to protect endangered animals, only to have them killed by trophy hunters.

Trophy enters the world of ranched hunting through businessman and self-confessed animal lover Christo Gomes. Christo owns Mabula Pro Safaris in South Africa, which offers all-inclusive guided safaris for hunters from across the world. For $25,000 to $100,000 a hunter can shoot, kill and bring home a great African animal “trophy.” For Christo, the big money comes from specialty breeding that services the tastes and trends of wealthy hunters. About 70% of Christo’s business comes from American hunting clients.

Adding another layer, we meet John Hume, the world’s largest private rhino breeder. Hume believes that legalization of the trade in rhino horn is the only way to save the rhino from extinction. Every two years, he trims his rhinos’ horns and has stockpiled over 5 tons of horn. He has invested $50 million of his life savings into the project and now has nearly 1500 rhino. Yet he remains a controversial figure and enemy of the animal rights movement.

As Africa’s most iconic animals continue to vanish in droves, can the controversial practices of hunting and breeding actually help the numbers thrive? Can assigning a value to an animal possibly help conserve it? What gives humans the right to own animals and to decide whether they live or die? And is there any real future for a “natural” world in our rapidly developing, capitalist world? In Schwarz’s and Clusiau’s richly cinematic safari, anything is possible, and nothing is as you would expect.


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Are There Any Extras After The Credits? Unknown

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