One Lucky Elephant Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: One Lucky Elephant begins with circus producer David Balding’s realization that Flora, the orphaned African elephant he adopted and made the star of his circus, is tired of performing. What unfolds is a nine-year odyssey to find Flora a good home. Caught between the human and animal world, Flora epitomizes the harsh reality elephants face in our expanding man-made world. Through Flora and David’s story, the film raises questions about our complex relationships with animals, for which there are no easy answers. One thing is certain: after watching this film, you will never look at an elephant in a zoo or a circus in the same way again. (Crossover Productions) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jun 9, 2011
    One Lucky Elephant would make an affecting pairing with James Marsh's upcoming "Project Nim," another film about an animal treated like a human until its essential wildness made that impossible.
  2. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 6, 2011
    Unlike recent activist documentaries about animal cruelty like "The Cove," Leeman's narrative doesn't feature any real villains. Balding's bond with Flora leaves him in a perpetual state of uncertainty about which possible new home for his elephant would provide the safest habitat.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Jun 6, 2011
    The film is an impressive and affecting entry in the growing body of work addressing the effects of keeping wild animals in captivity.
  4. Reviewed by: Joseph Jon Lanthier
    Jun 7, 2011
    A uniquely passive reminder of the dangers of showering exotic creatures with anthropomorphic affection.
  5. Reviewed by: John P. McCarthy
    Jun 11, 2011
    The equally simple and profound take-away from One Lucky Elephant is that the best thing we can do is let Flora be Flora.
  6. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jun 10, 2011
    Succeeds as a character study, while gently raising questions about human use and misuse of animals.
  7. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 7, 2011
    That One Lucky Elephant ultimately comes down on the side of anthropomorphizing Flora and her kind is extremely disappointing - a little clear-eyed ambivalence would have helped the film feel more focused and less like patchwork.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

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