The Ivory Game will stun you. Even if you know — or think you know — the story of elephant poaching the pure stats are devastating. And the images… An elephant is killed every 15 minutes — that’s what the Leo DiCaprio-produced film informs viewers. The Ivory Game puts the number of elephants killed each year at 35,000, a clearly unsustainable figure.
The Ivory Game is directed by Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson. Even its choice of title is brutal, because “game” seems too lighthearted a description, though the filmmakers are never lighthearted about their tale. Of course there is the double meaning, too, with game meaning an animal that is hunted. Ladkani and Davidson are relegated to announcing “the game” as they see it being played — and like any announcer of a game they can only narrated; they can’t affect the outcome. All the filmmakers can do to stop the ivory game is tell its tragic story and hope the result galvanizes a movement. It should. The Ivory Game is available on Netflix.