One Lucky Elephant
Directed by Lisa Leeman
One Lucky Elephant is, essentially, a love story. For sixteen years, David Balding cared for an African elephant named Flora; he named his circus for her Circus Flora and she played a starring role. The affection between them in the early scenes of Lisa Leeman's documentary is palpable. But very soon a crisis arises: Flora has grown tired of performing. Much of the film concerns Balding's quest to find a good home for Flora to live out the remainder of her life, which could be as long as 30 years. One Lucky Elephant touches on issues of elephant training and psychology (how does being captured at a young age affect an elephant?) and the ethics of confining wild animals to circuses and zoos. But, at heart, it's really about our responsibility to those we love and how we can separate our own wishes from their best interests and that applies to everybody, not just elephants.