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One Lucky Elephant (2010)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 8 June 2011 (USA)
Ten years in the making, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT follows the poignant journey of circus producer David Balding as he tries to find a nurturing and permanent home for Flora, the 18-year-old ... See full summary »


Lisa Leeman

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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ivor David Balding Ivor David Balding ... Himself (as David Balding)
Flora Flora ... Herself


Ten years in the making, ONE LUCKY ELEPHANT follows the poignant journey of circus producer David Balding as he tries to find a nurturing and permanent home for Flora, the 18-year-old African elephant that he rescued as an infant, raised as his "daughter" and made the star of his circus. David's love for Flora is put to the ultimate test when he realizes he made a terrible mistake keeping her as a solo elephant, and decides to retire her from the circus after 17 years of performing. Knowing Flora will outlive him, and with his health and finances becoming an issue, David sets off on a quest to find a home for Flora can live freely with other elephants. This complicated task begins with Flora's final circus performance in St. Louis and takes us on an emotional trek across America, then to Africa and back. We follow David's journey as he discovers just how difficult it is to find a proper home for an elephant in a world that reveres these animals for their majesty yet slaughters them ... Written by Crossover Staff

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A ten thousand pound love story. See more »




Not Rated


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Release Date:

8 June 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

En lycklig elefant See more »

Filming Locations:

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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User Reviews

The theme of separation is universal...
4 December 2011 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Portly, bearded American circus owner David Balding must part ways with his beloved Flora, the 17-year-old African elephant he raised since she was just one, delivered from her homeland in a crate. Not wanting to retire Flora to a zoo, Balding temporarily stores the elephant at a small facility before transferring her to a sanctuary. The interaction between Flora (who has only known the company of humans for the past 10 years) and the other elephants is extraordinary, and the emotions that flow between David and his "only child" reach right into the heart. Shot over a period of ten years, this documentary was an enormous undertaking for writer-director Lisa Leeman and her production team. The themes here (separation, as well as the emotional bond between humans and animals) are not artificially rendered--indeed, they seem almost stumbled upon--and the personalities involved (of the two and four-legged variety) are likable. Some of the dramatic episodes are not explored, and the finale is abrupt, yet the loving friendship between man and pachyderm is wonderfully realized. **1/2 from ****

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