Tigre Gente

Tigre Gente FL, 2022, 3 ¾ stars

Saving a species

Exclusive to MeierMovies, March 25, 2022

Proving again that “as they happen” documentaries are usually better than “talking heads” docs, Tigre Gente is one of the most impactful and journalistically credible of the 2022 Florida Film Festival’s many ecologically themed films. Spanning two continents, this is the dual story of Marcos (the director of Bolivia’s Madidi National Park) and Laurel (a Chinese journalist). Despite their geographic difference, they are both fighting to save the jaguar from extinction by tracking down criminals who profit from poaching.

“I consider the jaguar part of my family. They’re my brothers,” says Marcos, who once fantasized about becoming a “tigre gente,” or human in cat form. But when that spiritual experience never materialized, he instead dedicated himself to saving the species. Laurel, too, is striving to change minds – but from the consumer end of the business of animal slaughter and sale.

Director Elizabeth Unger’s exposé is beautifully shot but also carries that gritty quality you want in a “breaking news” doc. It also has something that no filmmaker can plan for: luck, in the form of caught-on-camera moments that will change the lives of jaguars for the better and poachers for the worse.

© 2022 MeierMovies, LLC

This capsule review is part of my coverage of the 2022 Florida Film Festival. For more information about the event and an index of reviews of other festival films, go here. For more information on this movie, visit IMDB.