When Elephants Were Young
Wok and his young elephant Nong Mai share a life of struggle and street begging in gritty Bangkok. Their tender bond reveals a complex relationship where elephants live with humans even though they are wild animals. One day the opportunity comes to release Nong Mai to the wild. Can an elephant who has only known a life of captivity survive in the forest? While the lens never strays from its focus of protecting the endangered Asian elephant from exploitation and extinction, this provocative and bittersweet film is a surprising view into the paradoxes of elephants in captivity, dismantling common beliefs about the age-old relationship between human and elephant. Despite imminent threats to the future of Asian elephants, the opportunity for Nong Mai’s survival may be a happy ending that offers hope for all.