Press release WHERE THE ELEPHANT SLEEPS
a film by Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky
In a new drama, the renowned Swiss film maker, Brigitte Uttar Kornetzky, engages her long-standing passion for India, its people and animals to skilfully reveal the hidden scandal behind the fate of India’s revered elephants. A fate that would make the blood of Lord Ganesh boil!
We see how captive elephants develop remarkable connections with humans, reaching out to those they sense have compassion towards them. They toil day after day with their mahouts to bring in the tourist dollar for the elephant owners. The harsh conditions cause all manner of physical and mental harm, life-threatening infections, depression and sterotypic rocking. An intriguing conflict emerges where despite the cost, the elephant owners find it financially beneficial to replace sick elephants than to treat them with the appropriate medicines.
Along with fascinating local characters, the film director finds herself thrown into her own film when an elephant named Sita succumbs to infected wounds. With a telephone in one hand and a camera in the other, Brigitte finds a doctor once banned by the elephant owners to treat the ailing Sita. Personalities emerge and opinions are inflamed as dozens of Central and State officials descend on the usually quiet Elephant Village. They congregate around the suffering elephant where the tale unfolds towards a ground breaking conclusion.
Learn of the forces that drive Indian owners to choose money over compassion for this magnificient symbol of Indian culture. The performance of this provocative film will be followed by a post screening reception to discuss with Brigitte, film associates and government officials, where you will contribute to and embrace the changes that are bound to be set into motion by this film and also the Supreme Court hearings on the subject.
Current screenings: The Indian International Center, Nov 17, 6:30pm, Deshmukh Auditorium, and in The Habitat Center, Gulmohar Hall, on Nov 18 at 7pm, in New Dehli. The film will also be released in Jaipur, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai amongst other cities.
Dr. Corinne Lendon, Veterinarian & Researcher BSc, BVMS, PGCert, PhD