The Elephant Whisperers marks the documentary debut of Kartiki Gonsalves. The 39-minute movie gained the Oscar in 2023 for the Greatest Documentary Quick Movie. Throughout her acceptance speech, she mentioned:
“I stand right here right now to talk for the sacred bond between us and our pure world, for the respect of indigenous communities, and empathy in the direction of different residing beings we share area with and eventually, for coexistence.”
Bomman and Bellie belong to the Kattunayakar neighborhood residing within the Theppakadu Elephant Camp in Tamil Nadu, South India; the neighborhood has a protracted historical past of caring for elephants. When Raghu, a three-month-old elephant calf is deserted by his herd after his mom is killed, the couple assume the care of the infant. They must nurse him again to well being and acquire his belief. They succeed and develop into a household in each sense of that time period.
The filmmakers shot over 450 hours of footage of their interactions. We watch Bomman and Bellie feeding, bathing, and enjoying with Raghu within the forest. They speak about how a lot he means to them and the way he has helped them heal from losses and develop into nearer to one another. It quickly turns into clear that this animal-human bond is powerful and characterised by the expression of feelings by all of them. When a younger elephant, Ammu, involves reside with this household, now adolescent Raghu even turns into jealous.
The Elephant Whisperers fulfils the filmmaker’s intention, shared with NPR, for “the viewers to cease seeing animals because the ‘different’ and begin seeing them as one in every of us.”