March 19 – 30
At Tower City
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Run Time: 82 minutes
Some people have children, some have dogs. David Balding has an elephant and her name is Flora. ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT follows the nine-year-long emotional journey of circus owner David Balding and the star of his show, the 18-year-old African elephant he has raised as a "daughter" since she was two. David's love for Flora is genuinely unconditional, but he now realizes, after 16 years, that he's made a mistake-he should not have raised Flora as a solo-elephant; she needs to be with her own kind. The older Flora gets, the more aggressive she becomes, and David knows it is time for her to retire. But where does an elephant go after the circus? Knowing she will outlive him, David wants to set up the best life he can for Flora, and he believes he's found it at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary, run by fellow former circus performer Carol. But when Carol informs David that his attachment to Flora is proving harmful to her psychological development, can David get over the guilt he feels from abandoning her? A heartfelt documentary, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT not only tells the story of a father's love for his 10,000 pound daughter, but also raises ethical issues about the dangers of keeping wild animals in captivity and their uncertain futures. – M.M.
Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano
François Cluzet, Omar Sy
Lisa Leeman is a documentary producer, director, writer, and editor who has also served as president of the International Documentary Association and teaches documentary filmmaking at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
"Metamorphosis: Man Into Woman" (1990), "Out of Faith" (2006), ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT (2010), "Documentary of a Yogi" (2011)