Of Oozies and Elephants
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An important film, beautifully made, which plunges us deep into the previously hidden country of Myanmar, its culture and its forests, and intimately close to the elephants and their Oozies, the men who share their lives and work. Following an international team of scientists whose findings are crucial to saving these elephants from extinction, we learn how it may be possible to save not just these but the whole species of Asian elephants. In the process we learn how Myanmar's use of elephants for tree-by-tree logging also preserves one of the largest remaining forest habitations on earth. The softly-spoken voice-over narration and subtly supporting score add to the sense of a privileged insight into the secrets of Myanmar and its elephants.
An important film, beautifully made, which plunges us deep into the previously hidden country of Myanmar, its culture and its forests, and intimately close to the elephants and their Oozies, the men who share their lives and work. --Linda Renton, Arts and Media LecturerSee all Editorial Reviews
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AUDIENCE AWARD, BATH FILM FESTIVAL
SALENTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL, WASHINGTON DC
ETHNOGRAFILM FESTVAL, PARIS, FRANCE
OF OOZIES AND ELEPHANTS offers a cultural story like no other, where man and animal work together toward a common goal. The film also presents serious science from an amazing place with huge, humorous, gracious animals that are critically endangered.
Myanmar, Burma, is the last country in the world using trained elephants and their handlers, men known as Oozies, for `selective logging' - taking out one tree at a time. Together they have saved the forests, but tragically the elephants are not maintaining their numbers.
Stunningly filmed, `Of Oozies and Elephants' offers a powerful portrait of a beautiful country with amazing people, astonishing urban pagodas, sweeping plains, expansive paddy fields and fabulously untouched forests. The Elephants are the stars and the men play important supporting roles.
Burmese timber elephants are semi‐captive. They work during the day and are let out into the forest at night to forage and socialize. Each handler, the oozie, begins his day by tracking his animal and bringing it back to camp for a hilarious bath before the day's work begins.
Being the first film crew in since the re-‐opening of Burma, the "Of Oozies and Elephants" team were able to capture scenes seldom if ever seen. Embedded within a group of international scientists led by `elephant lady' Dr. Khyne U Mar, access to the elephant camps was unique and unprecedented. And, the story is one of wonder and amazement.
Elephants feature in almost every aspect of Myanmar life and culture. Their love of elephants is palpable.
Timber is worth 30% of the economy, yet Myanmar has the biggest area of deciduous forest in South East Asia. By logging with elephants, as they selectively take out one tree at a time, the oozies and elephants together have saved Burma's forests.
"Of Oozies and Elephants" tells the story of a lifelong commitment by each oozie and each elephant. They are partners, and together they care for one another and their culture in ways that only love, respect and commitment can accomplish.
The feature length documentary is filled with emotion, but also complete with information and science that is pertinent to the viewer's understanding of this most unique place on Earth and the phenomenon "Of Oozies and Elephants".