Eye of the Pangolin, a ground-breaking new documentary, is in the final stages of completion and is due to be released globally on May 17 on Endangered Species Day.
The film tells the story of two South African filmmakers who travel the continent to find the elusive African pangolin, the most trafficked mammal on earth. Along the way they also meet the people who are trying to save the creature which is now on the edge of extinction.
Award-winning South African filmmakers Bruce Young (Blood Lions) and Johan Vermeulen (Kalahari Tails) are on a mission to capture the African pangolin on film in the hope that if people come to know it, they will care enough to help put a stop to the horrific poaching and illegal trade that is raging around these beguiling creatures about which so little is known.
Due to an increasingly insatiable market in Asia, the pangolins in that region have almost entirely disappeared, as they continue to be poached and then, either dead or alive, become part of the illegal wildlife trade. Traditional Chinese Medicine places great value on the supposed healing powers of pangolin scales and their meat is considered a dining delicacy.
On their journey throughout the continent, Young and Vermeulen encounter many who have fallen under the pangolin’s strange and mesmerising spell. They question the nature of man’s relationship with the wild creatures of this planet and ask: “If we lose the pangolin, do we lose a part of ourselves?”
Filmed on location in South Africa, Ghana, Central African Republic and Gabon, Eye of the Pangolin will be available to download and view via numerous online platforms.
Young says their goal is to make Eye of the Pangolin one of the most watched wildlife documentaries ever.
“It will be made freely available as an open source film, accessible for viewing around the world via online platforms, through educational establishments, at wildlife and conservation film festivals and by way of an intensive screening campaign at educational establishments across Africa and worldwide.”