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.