One Lucky Elephant
One Lucky Elephant (2011)

Where does an elephant go after a life in the circus? Sixteen years have passed since circus producer David Balding adopted Flora, the orphaned baby African elephant. As Flora approaches adulthood, he realizes that she is not happy… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: June 8, 2011
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2012
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Critic Score: 96% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Simple enough to delight a child and complex enough to baffle a philosopher.

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Andrew O'Hehir

Both illuminates the bond that can form between humans and animals and also reminds us that we can never quite leap over the gulf of comprehension that lies between us and other species.

Brent Simon
Shared Darkness

An extraordinary movie about inter-species relationships, and the beauty, enrichment and, ultimately, constraints of those bonds.

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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

How affected are these animals by the physical pain of being trained or by childhood trauma? Can they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder? What can trigger that if they can? All these questions are raised and, quite appropriately, left open.

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Mark Jenkins

While its story is inherently bittersweet, the movie has many charming moments. After all, it's about one smart elephant.

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Brent Simon

A heartwarming and thought-provoking documentary, spanning almost a full decade, that tacitly asks tough questions about whether wild animals can ever be expected to be truly content in captivity.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

What begins as a simple man-and-his-pachyderm love story ends up encompassing unexpected levels of trauma and sacrifice.

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Alison Willmore
AV Club

One Lucky Elephant is a poignant documentary whose simple premise masks a substantial emotional wallop...

Cole Smithey

You might be left to wonder just how "lucky" Flora the African elephant is, while watching Lisa Leeman's documentary about the fate of said orphaned pachyderm.

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