“Wildlife and the Wall:” Excellent Short film about the Impacts of Trump’s Wall

A scenic shot of the Rio Grande river in Big Bend National Park.
The Rio Grande, Cliff Walls and the Chisos Mountains (HDR, Big Bend National Park) by Mark Stevens. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I have watched many wildlife films in my day, especially after deciding to study wildlife TV for my master’s thesis, but one that I just watched stands out from all the rest: Wildlife and the Wall featuring Ben Masters.

Wildlife and the Wall highlights the detrimental impacts that Trump’s border wall would have on the ecosystems of the U.S. – Mexico border. Focusing specifically on Texas and the mighty Rio Grande river, Masters uses incredible cinematography, expert narration, and clever editing to make his case.

As far as the cinematography goes, the shots in Wildlife and the Wall are crisp and beautiful. Images of charismatic animals like mountain lions (Puma concolor), black bears, and bighorn sheep showcase a few of the creatures that would be harmed by the wall. Likewise, stunning landscape shots demonstrate just how alive and wondrous the borderlands can be.

In regards to the film’s editing, Masters overlays the beginning and end of Wildlife and the Wall with clips from Trump’s rallies. As the crowd chants, “Build that wall!” and Trump encourages them by clarifying that it will be, “A real wall,” one cannot help but be struck by the lunacy of this whole situation. The rallies seem more like frenzied cult gatherings than they do valid political meetings, with The Wall being their central object of worship. To cave in to Trump and fund the wall would be to cave in to madness, and to embrace the sort of fear-driven hysteria that leads nations to destroy themselves.

Here is Wildlife and the Wall by Ben Masters. Be sure to check out the Facebook page for The River and the Wall for more information.

30 Thoughts

  1. Hola Josh
    Sometimes silence (from me) does not mean that I am not reading (and enjoying) your posts.. just offline most of the time, and I load your posts when there’s a chance – then read them at home. So.. happy new year, good luck with your choices – sometimes it’s difficult to know what path to take at any given time, but whatever burns strongest in your soul is the right choice… Garry Rogers/Arizona has written some good posts about the wall and wildlife.. I’m glad to see this, and I hope the video will play when I reach home! It’s ‘loaded’ and hopefully will play. Thanks for caring about our planet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you for this thoughtful and encouraging comment. I hope you were able to watch “Wildlife and the Wall” when you got home, and thanks for the recommendation about Gary Rogers’ posts! Thanks for reading y posts as well, regardless of whether or not you’re able to comment.


    1. There’s so much in our everyday lives that impacts wildlife that we don’t think about. It’s good to be thinking about this particular absurdity, and hopefully this gets people thinking about more than the effects of the wall!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, but the difference between the U.S.-Mexico wall would be that our two countries are allies, and the U.S. depends intimately on Mexico for its survival: our agricultural industry simply wouldn’t exist without Mexican workers. The illegal immigration “crisis” is also almost entirely made up: a fabricated story used to justify the ridiculous wall (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/us/politics/fact-check-trump-border-crossings-declining-.html)

      So while many countries have border walls, and that’s rarely good for wildlife, the U.S.-Mexico wall would be uniquely stupid and wasteful.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment! Education will help, but in this case it won’t be enough. Support for the wall isn’t just rooted in ignorance of the project’s impacts, but in the efforts of a certain identity group to assert their dominance over the others. It’s a way to say, “This is OUR country, we don’t want you here, and we want you to know it.” That’s why in this case, we have to go beyond ecological education and combat the paranoia and hate that are the true building blocks of the wall.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I completely agree with your thoughts! Do you think that educating people who have been fed false information about these people they want out of “their” country would help? Understanding that no matter the origins of a person you can have so much in common and be compassionate toward them? It could be a generational teaching but I think a lot of the support for this stupid wall comes from those with completely false information or just lacking knowledge of other cultures/people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, compassionate education will be much more effective than screaming at people on Twitter. I think part of the problem is also that many people, especially those who haven’t been fortunate enough to enjoy a good education, have a hard time distinguishing between good and bad sources; just because you like what someone is saying, it doesn’t mean you should believe them. Part of that fix has got to come from improving the American educational system, so that ALL Americans can afford a quality education. Like you said though, that’s going to be a generational thing – this won’t be a quick solution.

      Fortunately, inter-cultural education doesn’t have to come from school. In fact, I’d say that just putting oneself in positions where they can interact with people from different cultures would be more effective than any sort of book-learning. While travel would help with that, the US is diverse enough that many of us shouldn’t have to go very far to learn about different cultures. Perhaps people could use tools like Meetup to locate clubs or groups of friends that would help them grow?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea that’s a great point, I’ve never heard of Meetup but I think any tool to locate a welcoming club where you can meet a diverse group of people is so beneficial. I’m not sure, when it comes to kids though, how to drive that stimulation? Mostly because there are so many kids who can be restricted to who they hang out with by their parents. How do you get those close-minded parents to at least let their kids be free to make the friends they want and interact with peers of their choice without holding them back?

        Living out here in Wyoming it’s crazy how people can be so kind and warm on almost any subject, but once you change the topic to something they don’t agree on there’s no budging them. They won’t hate you for your thoughts (as long as they liked you before they knew you had said thoughts) but they won’t even begin to entertain the idea of changing their minds. That’s the sort of stubborn nature that’s going to be the hardest to change, but probably the most important population that will need to change to make us all better.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’ve never been to Wyoming, but it seems to me that people are stubborn about certain viewpoints all over the place. Maybe it’s worse in certain locations than others, though? That question would involve lots of research to answer!

          I’m afraid the close-minded parents question is one to which I have no answers! That’s a hard one.

          Liked by 1 person

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