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From Sherni to My Octopus Teacher – Here are 6 must-watch films on wildlife crimes

Alia Bhatt recently announced teaming up with Amazon Prime Video for wildlife crime series Poacher as executive producer. Look at some of the popular films that have addressed wildlife crimes.

From Sherni to My Octopus Teacher – Here are 6 must-watch films on wildlife crimes

The Ivory Game, Racing Extinction

Last Updated: 06.19 PM, Feb 13, 2024


Animal trafficking is as much a crime as human trafficking. Yet, few of us raise our voice against this issue and bring justice to the voiceless animals. Taking up her commitment towards environmental advocacy a notch higher, award-winning actress Alia Bhatt recently announced her partnership with Amazon Prime Video to bring a brand-new series Poacher as its executive producer. The series to be released in Hindi, English and Malayalam will drop on Amazon Prime Video on February 23. Going by this call against wildlife crimes, here’s a quick lowdown on films that have tackled this subject earlier. Read on...  

Kaal (2005)

Jointly produced by Karan Johar and Shah Rukh Khan, the film follows a wildlife expert, his spouse, and a group of friends who, with the assistance of an enigmatic tour guide, fight for their lives against a mysterious force in the fictional Orbit National Park (a reference to the well-known Jim Corbett National Park in Nainital, Uttarakhand). The movie makes a point about preserving India's priceless wildlife.   

Streaming platforms - Netflix, Amazon Prime Video  


Racing Extinction (2015)

The documentary, directed by Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos, centres on the ongoing manmade mass extinction of species and the attempts of scientists, activists, and journalists to document it. The movie was nominated for one Emmy (for Outstanding Merit in Documentary Filmmaking) and one Oscar (for Best Original Song). Following its 2015 Sundance Film Festival premiere, Racing Extinction had a limited theatrical run before its December 2, 2015, global broadcast debut on The Discovery Channel in 220 countries. The movie explores issues related to the Anthropocene Extinction, which holds that the spread of Homo sapiens is responsible for the largest mass extinction since the KT event 66 million years ago. These issues include poaching, climate change, and the actions taken by scientists, and volunteers to safeguard endangered species. The main causes of extinction mentioned in the movie are animal husbandry, globalisation, and human overpopulation.  

Streaming platform – Amazon Prime Video  

The Ivory Game (2016)

The Ivory Game explores the unsustainable trade in wildlife commodities, of which the poaching of elephants for their ivory is unquestionably a prime example. In this Netflix documentary, two undercover reporters look into the intricate workings and consequences of the multimillion-dollar ivory trade in China and Hong Kong. The film also explores the pervasive corruption that drives the industry. The movie, which aims to spark a global outcry against the trade, alerts us to the elephants' certain extinction in the next 15 years if nothing is done.  

Streaming platform - Netflix  

Junglee (2019)

Hollywood director Chuck Russell's film follows Vidyut Jammwal's character, a veterinarian who returns to his father's elephant sanctuary during his mother’s 10th death anniversary gathering and combats poachers involved in an international racket. Junglee was released on March 29, 2019. Its action scenes and cinematography won accolades.  

Streaming platforms – Disney+ Hotstar, YouTube  

My Octopus Teacher (2020)

In the heartwarming Netflix documentary My Octopus Teacher, diver and filmmaker Craig Foster is shown developing an odd bond with a wild common octopus. His once-in-a-lifetime adventure, which was captured on camera in an underwater kelp forest in False Bay, close to Cape Town, South Africa, involves watching the octopus's daily activities and seeing how it protects itself from pyjama sharks before dying while mating. Foster talks about how this strange experience changed his life.  

Streaming platform - Netflix  

Sherni (2021)

The film, featuring Vidya Balan in a lead role, addresses issues, including animal conservation and conflict between humans and wildlife. In a far-off village, a forest officer named Vidya is entrusted with apprehending and confining a man-eating tigress. But while she works to fulfil her duties, she encounters hostility from a variety of sources. The MLA turns the conflict with wildlife into a political issue and employs a hunter to kill the tigress. Vidya would prefer to apprehend the tigress. She tracks the tigress pugmarks with her squad. The tigress is killed by the hunter, but he is unable to locate the cubs. When the villagers discover the cubs sheltering beneath a wooden log, they covertly tell Vidya. The cubs are spared. The film's title, though, is a little misleading because, in Hindi, the word "sherni" actually means "lioness," whereas "baghin" is the formal term for a tigress. Even yet, tigresses are also commonly referred to as shernis. Critics gave Sherni favourable reviews for Balan's performance and for drawing attention to the need of protecting wildlife.  

Streaming platforms – Amazon Prime Video, YouTube  

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