Free Passage for Giants
WDR Documentary Special
A film by Nicole Macheroux - Denault
And Richard Kruger

Angola is witnessing a giant homecoming. After decades of civil war, elephants are returning to the now peaceful African country on ancestral routes, which lay dormant for over thirty years. Scientists and locals are watching with surprise how thousands of elephants repopulate southeast Angola, although the area is apparently still riddled with landmines. Elephant trails are paving the way for other animals and people, giving them safe access to long lost homes and resources. Some say the giants can sense landmines, others claim they simply aren’t as many devices in Angola as previously estimated. Any which way, the elephants’ free passage to Angola challenges concepts of securing resettlement in the war-torn country. While some are now trying to train captive elephants to detect mines, experienced organizations like MGM – Menschen gegen Minen – are continuing their laborious task of clearing roads and fields along the Angolan- Namibian border with dogs. With every kilometer of land they declare safe, Angolan refugees are returning to resettle in their homeland, build villages and plant crops. And they clash with the other new arrivals: elephants, which destroy the farmer’s crops. This film tells the story of peace and resettlement in Angola and the challenges of both elephants and the people reclaiming their long lost land.

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