“Poacher” brings a trunk-load of storytelling to Netflix


photo by Netflix

“Poacher” was released October 1st as a short documentary on Netflixx.

Seeking to spread awareness, the Netflix Original “Poacher” is certainly the elephant in the room because of its unique approach to engaging its audience.  

Released Oct. 1, “Poacher” is a short film that raises awareness of elephant poaching in Lebanon.  The movie tells a fictional story of a farmer who faces a world of trouble when he is forced to steal ivory from a group of terrorists in order to supply money for his family. The production seeks to raise awareness and share stories on different topics through a combination of facts and story-telling.

“Poacher” has a simple yet rigorous storyline that allows the audience to understand the plot and remain engaged. This is unlike the standard documentary that only features occasional, interesting clips.  

Although the movie’s fast-paced story line helps grab the eye of  even those with the shortest attention-spans, it also has the potential to confuse viewers at the beginning of the film.  The first few events take off at rocket speed and the viewer is left to either catch-up or pause to rewatch. This does, however,  cause the film to have less of an impact on the audience, because viewers are too busy figuring out what’s going on to find any real value in information that comes up.  

Cinematography plays another significant role in this production.  Introducing the Lebonese landscape beforehand captures the viewer’s attention and gives them a sense of presence. Getting an audience to be concerned about an issue at hand is no easy feat when it is occurring hundreds of miles away from most of the audience.  The film uses every clip of the landscape to help spectators get familiar with the setting and feel closer to Lebanon, therefore making elephant poaching and conservation more prominent to them.  

Throughout the film, small nuggets of information act as intermissions between events, their main purpose is to connect the fictional circumstances presented in the movie to real-world problems like poaching and elephant endangerment.  Reversely, the storyline gives proper context for the information which increases the film’s impact on the audience.  

Overall, “Poacher” is eye-opening and bound to capture your interest.  Although it is produced in a different style than the average documentary, it doesn’t fail to balance relevancy, value, and impact in order to keep things interesting to any audience.