A dank room comes into view with several people milling about. Spread throughout the entire floor and piled up against the walls are tons upon tons of dirty, fresh elephant tusks. People in a line pass down an individual tusk until it reaches the last person, who carefully stacks it on top of a high pile.
“We don’t have enough shelf space for all this ivory,” says the program manager.
This is just one of many impactful scenes included in Netflix’s new original documentary, “The Ivory Game”.
“The Ivory Game” is not the typical activist documentary using feeble attempts of stirring emotion to sway the audience toward the cause. Rather, the film has a solid foundation of evidence and substantial exploration of the ivory situation to display it as a real crisis. It gives voice to the activists, conservationists and investigative journalists who have dedicated their lives to protecting elephants against poachers.
Directors Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson jump back and forth between the elephant poaching in Africa and the ivory black market in China. Filming in Africa concentrates on both wild elephants and greedy poachers. China’s side of the story gives insight into a culture where ivory is a status symbol of the wealthy. It also shows how the illegal system of obtaining ivory is safeguarded by shops that legally and publicly sell it.
As an executive producer of “The Ivory Game,” Leonardo DiCaprio adds to his recent efforts to be a voice for environmentalism.