Sudan, a northern white rhino, is the very last male of his subspecies; Jojo and Jacob are two new keepers at Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy tasked with his care.
It's no coincidence that "kifaru," the Swahili word for rhinoceros, is also a military synonym for "tank," so imposing, armored, and seemingly indestructible are these beasts. However, in Kifaru, David Hambridge's debut film, the rhino is seen as the epitome of fragility and gentleness, as its native habitat shrinks with every year and poachers seeking their iconic horns for bogus medicinal purposes cull their numbers to the brink of extinction. The star of the documentary is Sudan, a 45-year-old literal example of this brink—the world's very last living specimen of the northern white rhinoceros subspecies. In depicting the golden years of Sudan's long and solitary life in Kenya's Ol Pejeta wildlife conservancy, Hambridge recounts the tireless efforts to protect Earth's dwindling megafauna and develop DNA cloning techniques to possibly keep the species alive for future generations. The film also highlights the human caretakers, James and JoJo, who have dedicated their lives to preserving these majestic animals and fighting the illegal wildlife-hunting trade. Sudan's lonely life is unavoidably heartbreaking (he finally passed away in March 2018), but his story of pluck in the face of insurmountable adversity brings hope to a hopeless situation, and inspiration to preserve the world's last remaining wild spaces and prevent the eternity of extinction.
David Hambridge is an Emmy-nominated cinematographer and award-winning commercial and documentary filmmaker based in the United States. Hambridge graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies in 2009 and began filming Kifaru (2019), his first feature-length documentary, in 2014. At the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival, Kifaru won both Grand Prize Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature, and Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature.
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- Director: David Hambridge
- Principal Cast: James Mwenda, Joseph "JoJo" Wachira
- Country: USA, Kenya
- Year: 2019
- Running Time: 81 minutes
- Producer: Andrew Harrison Brown
- Cinematographers: David Hambridge, Andrew Harrison Brown
- Editors: Andrew Harrison Brown
- Music: Kevin Matley
- Website: Official Film Website
- Awards: Slamdance Film Festival 2019 (Grand Jury Prize, Audience Award)
- Filmography: Debut Feature Film
- Language: Swahili, English
- Has Subtitles: Yes
- Format: DCP
- International Sales: Submarine Entertainment