Kekexili: Mountain Patrol
The CITES Secretariat was recently provided with an opportunity to view this film prior to its general release in France and Switzerland on 25 January 2006. It can probably best be described as a drama-documentary and it has won several awards at film festivals. The original version is in Mandarin and Tibetan but the ‘general release’ versions have subtitles.
It describes the experiences of a journalist, in the mid-1990s, who accompanied the anti-poaching patrols that operated on the Tibetan Plateau to protect the Tibetan antelope and seek out those who kill the animals to collect their fine wool (known as ‘shahtoosh’).
The film opens with the cold-blooded murder of one of the patrol officers by poachers and follows the story of his colleagues as they set about tracking down those responsible. The scenery is stunning but the film also captures the harsh nature of the Tibetan antelope’s habitat and the equally harsh reality of conducting law enforcement operations at altitudes of over 4,000 metres.
It should be emphasized that the film reflects anti-poaching work a decade ago and that the present law enforcement situation is very different. Nonetheless, the terrain, weather and hazards remain unchanged.
Having sent staff in 2003 to spend time with the Forest Police patrol staff in Kekexili, the CITES Secretariat can testify to the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of the dangers that these men face daily. It heartily recommends to anyone connected with the implementation of CITES, especially wildlife law enforcement officers, to see this film.
The Secretariat is not aware of the exact release dates in other countries but expect that the film will come out around the same time in most places or may even be already available on DVD.
Click here to download the official press kit.