Project Description

Cover for the film, The Ivory Game. Features a dark background with a large picture of a disappearing elephant.

The Ivory Game

2016 · Unrated · 1h 12m


The Ivory Game exposes the dark world of ivory trafficking. Ivory is a prized status symbol for middle class Chinese, and poachers in pursuit of “white gold” are slaughtering African elephants in record numbers. Award-winning director Richard Ladkani and Academy Award-nominated director Kief Davidson filmed undercover for 16 months infiltrating and documenting the deep-rooted corruption at the heart of the global ivory trafficking crisis.

About the Filmmakers

The Ivory Game was produced by Walter Kohler, Kief Davidson, Wolfgang Knopfler and directed by Richard Ladkani & Kief Davidson. Find out more about the film at


“Moments like that lend “The Ivory Game” a pervasive air of sadness within its urgency. But perhaps, as in other recent animal-advocacy documentaries—“Blackfish” (about abuses at SeaWorld) and “The Cove” (about Japanese dolphin hunting)—the resulting feeling of outrage will spur viewers into action.” – Christy Lemire. The Ivory

“This is clearly an issue that’s building, and “The Ivory Game,” as a Netflix production, is theoretically in a position to influence the outcome. There are moments when the movie tugs at your heart, but the subject matter because it’s so epic, deserves an even more probing and definitive treatment.” – Owen Gleiberman. Film Review: The Ivory Game.

“What is admirable about Ivory Game is that it recognizes the complexity of the issues. In Africa the elephants destroy farmers’ crops, so these farmers have sometimes gone into partnership with the poachers. The rangers recognize that a solution will have to involve building fences to protect the crops while also cracking down on killers and traders who lust after ivory. The film almost has the structure of a thriller, as it builds to the capture of the head honcho among ivory poachers, a man named Shetani, whose underlings are estimated to have killed 10,000 elephants.”  – Stephen Farber. The Ivory Game: Telluride Review.

Available on Netflix

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