The Serengeti Rules
Impact | VIFF Impact
Five brilliant research scientists from around the globe are featured in Nicolas Brown’s adaptation of Sean B. Carroll’s influential book of the same name. Beginning in the 60s, these eminent academics found that their research was travelling along similar lines suggesting that nature works according to certain rules relating to a kind of equilibrium. For example, eco-visionary Bob Paine showed that "keystone" species, in this case those at the top of the food chain, were essential in maintaining biodiversity when he removed predacious starfish from tide pools and witnessed a decrease in diversity. The breakthrough came via Tony Sinclair’s work in Africa’s Serengeti. When the wildebeest population, previously destroyed by a disease that had finally been eradicated, started to thrive again, instead of overrunning the ecosystem, the population levelled off at pre-disease numbers, and, amazingly, not only did plant and wildlife diversity expand, but the physical form of the landscape also changed. The implication that, by knowing nature’s rules, a damaged environment and ecosystem could not only be restored but also enhanced has given hope to eco-warriors everywhere.
"Compelling viewing… It’s a film which sounds an alarm, but, unlike most similarly themed pictures, one which permits a chink of light into the traditionally bleak narrative of man’s impact on the land… It excels… in its visual component, with stunning cinematography and arresting juxtapositions…"—Wendy Ide, Screen