STROOP is an eye-opening documentary that gives an in-depth look at the rhino poaching war happening right here in South Africa.
Good Things Guy had the pleasure to attend and host the South African premiere of STROOP – Journey into the rhino horn war. We have been looking forward to this since we shared the amazing news that the documentary had won a whopping 10 international awards.
Knowing full well the nature of the documentary, we went armed with tissues. Starting just over four years ago, Bonné de Bod and Director Susan Scott set off on a journey that would take them to gutwrenching crime scenes within the Kruger National Park, the streets of Vietnam to hunt down rhino horn and into the courts where poachers and syndicates get put on trial for their crimes.
The duo gave up their jobs and homes, moved in with parents, all to make this hard-hitting documentary that dives deep into the world of rhino poaching.
Bonné de Bod, a well-known credible wildlife presenter and journalist, was in front of the camera while Susan Scott was behind the camera capturing some of the most hair-raising footage, from interviews with rhino horn carvers and users to sitting next to mutilated rhino carcases.
They even joined the journey of rhino orphans taken to Thula Thula Rhino Orphanage and covered the devastating night that the sanctuary was attacked by poachers, leaving two of the orphans dead. It was hard to see but the message is so important.
The documentary wouldn’t have had the chance to be as great as it is without the help of the public. Through crowdfunding, the women were able to take this project and make it into something great. They also had support from organisations such as the Oak Foundation in the USA and the Tanglewood Foundation in New Zealand.
This documentary feature film has taken the festival circuit in the US and Europe by storm… winning not 1 but a total of 10 international awards, many of them the Best Documentary Award, which is the highest achievement a film can get at a film festival.
STROOP was also chosen to open the Wildlife Film Festival in Rotterdam and that particular screening was sold out so a second screening was put on and that also sold out within hours! It’s no surprise that the film was also selected to close the Berlin Courage Film Festival last month.
In addition to the festival success, STROOP has been screened behind closed doors to journalists in Asia… last week in fact at a hush hush workshop was held which we can’t really divulge but several Universities in Asia will be screening STROOP in 2019.
The attention of the awards has meant that the film has gone on to screen to those in power, those who can affect change and while the documentary had us in tears, we couldn’t look away from the screen, not for a moment. It moved us, educated us and inspired us to keep sharing the stories about people who are working to end rhino poaching. It also started a conversation in countries that don’t often hear about the plight of the rhino.
Sadly, local movie houses have decided not to show the documentary but it will be screened at Pretoria, Menlyn on the 25th of November and at the VnA Waterfront on the 2nd of December. It will also be available for digital release in the new year, and we will keep you posted on where to find it then.
You can watch the trailer for the documentary below.