Review of new Echo film in the Guardian, 6 August 2010

Fri, 2010-08-06 13:35 by cmoss

There was a two-part review in the Guardian that included another program:

Below is the part relating to "Echo an Unforgettable Elephant":

There was a rather different set of loyalties on offer in Natural World (BBC2), a celebration of the life of Echo, the world's most filmed and celebrated elephant, who died of natural causes at the age of 65 last year. With a mix of archive footage shot at various points over the past 35 years, and present-day talking heads, we were treated to a beautifully photographed exhibition of animal behaviour at its most noble.

Here was Echo giving birth to Eli, a young male elephant with crippled front legs that prevented him from walking. Rather than abandoning him, she stood over him, protecting him from the heat while trying to lift him with her trunk until finally, after three days, he managed to start walking. Here she was mobilising her family to rescue baby Ebony, who had been kidnapped by another herd. Here she was saying goodbye to her daughter, Ella, who had been mortally wounded by a poacher's spear, before returning to pay her respects to her dried-out bones. And there, finally, was Echo, lying on her side, blinking her last. The tears of the park wardens were every bit as real as the grief of her own family. With David Attenborough back at the helm, this was BBC wildlife film-making at its best: heartfelt, but just the right side of sentimental.

Although Echo was the undoubted star of the show, the supporting double act of wildlife expert Cynthia Moss and photographer Martyn Colbeck was almost as gripping. Theirs was a loyalty that matched Echo's: for the past 37 years, they had been following Echo and her family almost step for step in Amboseli. It's a dedication that goes far beyond normal experience. And one well worth a documentary in its own right.


Thu, 2010-08-12 14:03 by jbganesh

I was lucky enough to come face to face with Echo and her wonderful family back in 1999. She was a truly magnificent Matriarch. Eli would have surely died soon after birth had she not been the type of mother we all hope we women are!

Echo doc

Fri, 2010-08-06 21:06 by Donna

Nice review. Eager to see film.

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