Northwest NEWS

October 23, 2000


'Africa's Elephant Kingdom' thunders into IMAX Theatre

by Deborah Stone
   "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" charges across the big screen this month at Pacific Science Center's Eames IMAX Theatre.
   In this spectacular film, the majesty and complexity of elephants is explored, allowing audiences to fully appreciate the special qualities they possess.
   The whole spectrum of the elephant lifespan, from tiny newborn calves to a magnificent old bull at the end of his life, is covered through an informative presentation, told from the point of view of a male elephant.
   The film provides awe-inspiring, breathtaking panoramas and intimate close-ups to reveal the strength and power of these creatures, as well as their intelligence and unexpected gentleness.
   Shot on location in Kenya's Amboseli National Park, director Michael Caulfield and his crew were able to film some never-before-seen footage of the African elephant.
   The crew endured windswept dust, torrential rains and rough terrain, while using a cumbersome eighty-pound camera. The results give audiences the chance to view the habitat, social structure and behaviors of these fascinating creatures up close and personal.
   As the story begins, an extended elephant family embarks on a journey across the vast African plains. When severe drought conditions prevail, the group must travel far in search of food and nourishment.
   Many weaken along the way, but the herd survives and endures the challenges of a harsh environment with determination and intelligence. Audiences experience an intense emotional connection with these animals as they are made aware of the real commonality that humans have with elephants.
   The film shows the fun loving, yet contemplative nature of these animals, as well as their solidarity, loyalty and compassion among family and friends.
   "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" is a feast for the senses, filled with incredible sights and sounds of elephant life.
   It is an opportunity to come face-to-face with the world's largest land mammal and the challenges it faces for survival each day. "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" runs through Feb. 15, 2001. For showtimes, call (206) 443-IMAX.