STROOP: Journey Into The Rhino Horn War
STROOP: Journey Into The Rhino Horn War
STROOP: Journey Into The Rhino Horn War

STROOP: Journey Into The Rhino Horn War

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  • Directed by: Susan Scott
  • Released: 2018 (educational)
  • Year of Production: 2017
Running Time: 112min + 58min classroom cut
Language: English
Includes English Closed Captioning
Subjects: Environmental Studies, Conservation,  Wildlife Management, African Studies, Asian Studies, International Law

In “Stroop,” two filmmakers explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, move in with their mothers and give up nearly four years of their lives to document not just the rhinos but the various people connected to this iconic animal.

In this roller-coaster ride between Africa and Asia, these women embed themselves on the front-lines of a species genocide where they are given exclusive access to the enforcement aspect of the fight. From rangers, pilots and K9 units patrolling the hardest hit national parks to elite police units raiding wildlife trafficking dens in major cities, they find themselves immersed in a conflict more complex and treacherous than they ever could have imagined.

Spanning academic subject areas from Animal Welfare and Conservation, STROOP is a powerful and comprehensive story of poaching that explores the issue from numerous angles:

    CULTURE - The filmmakers take an uncomfortable look at the role that apartheid played in marginalizing indigenous people who have been excluded from their wildlife heritage. These communities live side-by-side with ranger families while poaching syndicates operate in their villages. These bush frontier areas are home to packed courtrooms where the surrounding community come out to support their local “Robin Hood”. Unprecedented access is given over the years to the state prosecutors working in these dingy courtrooms who must fight well-oiled and wealthy defense teams in a flawed justice system.

    ANIMAL WELFARE - Survivors of rhino poaching, also challenge the system and come in two versions. Both are hard to spend time with, but this is done through the eyes of the saviors: the vets who choose not to euthanize but use groundbreaking techniques to give patients a second chance.  Then there are those who have been orphaned after watching their mothers die at the hands of humans. And yet, they must accept the help of humans to live. One such human suffers a brutal attack when poachers return to the orphanage to kill the survivors.

    BLACK MARKETS - At the demand site in Asia, the women venture deep undercover, filming in repressed, totalitarian regimes where every day means staying ahead of communist party monitors as well as enduring dangerous encounters with illegal wildlife dealers. On their return, they work with a Vietnamese researcher bravely trying to expose rhino horn sales inside African markets. Like the filmmakers in her hometown, she now takes great risks in their city to show that illegal trade is everywhere.

    WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT - The desire for rhino horn is made all the more complex by the journey the filmmakers take to the countryside where ownership of land and rhinos, is viewed as a right. Desperate to trade legally the farmers sue the government but on the other side of all of this is an activist’s journey to fight legal trade. She also takes it to the courtrooms and then on to the streets with protest marches.

    INTERNATIONAL POLITICS - Internationally a red line of trade has been set-up by nations tussling with each other and the filmmakers' wade right into this no-go area, spending time with the elite power-brokers who can change, for better or worse, the plight of the planet’s last living rhinos. 


        • Winner - San Diego International Film Festival 2018 (Best Documentary)
        • Winner - San Pedro International Film Festival 2018 (Best Documentary)
        • Winner - Mystic Film Festival 2018 (Best Int'l Doc)
        • Winner - Glendale International Film Festival 2018 (Best Female Filmmaker Award)
        • Winner - Berlin Courage Film Festival (Best Documentary Award and The Courage Award for Most Courageous Film)
        • Winner - San Francisco Green Film Festival 2018
        • Winner - Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam 2018
        • Winner - LA Femme International Film Festival 2018
        • Winner - Courage Film Festival 2018
        • Winner - Independent Documentary awards Hollywood International 2018
        • Winner - Santa Cruz Film Festival 2018
        • Winner - Best of Festival, International Wildlife Film Festival
        • Winner - Best Feature, International Wildlife Film Festival
        • Winner - Genesis Award in the Outstanding Brigitte Bardot International Documentary Feature Film category in the United States


          Susan Scott - Director/Producer

          Susan Scott is a documentary filmmaker. Prior to her directing work, she was a film editor for nearly twenty years. Susan started her career in the United States as an assistant editor for an A.C.E. editor in Washington DC right after graduation from Baylor University in Texas. Susan was drawn to documentaries early on her career and went on to edit in Washington for the next six years cutting films for National Geographic, PBS, Time Life, Discovery, Animal Planet, and NBC. But Susan's heart was always in wildlife and she returned home to South Africa to edit for some of the best natural history filmmakers on the planet.


          Bonnė de Bod - Investigative Journalist & Co-Producer

          Bonné is well-known as an award-winning wildlife television presenter and producer. She has been on South Africa's popular wildlife and environment programme 50/50 for nearly a decade. She is also a special correspondent for SABC's Newsroom and kykNET's Grootplaas. In addition, her series 'Rhino Blog' is on DStv's People's Weather where it is ranked the most popular show. Her in-depth knowledge from four years filming on the ground and doing undercover work in Asia has led to Bonné facilitating discussions on illegal wildlife trafficking for the United Nations Environment Programme as well as talks on the radio, film festivals and wildlife symposiums.

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