“The Last Jaguar”, new film by Gilles de Maistre, can be seen in theaters from this Wednesday, February 7. An adventure film to watch as a family from 8 years old.
RECOMMENDED FROM 8 YEARS OLD
Once upon a time : Autumn grows up in the Amazon rainforest alongside Hope, an adorable baby female jaguar she took in. But the year she turned six, a family tragedy forced Autumn and her father to return to live in New York. Eight years pass, and Autumn, now a teenager, has never forgotten her jaguar friend. When she learns that Hope is in mortal danger, Autumn decides to return to the jungle to save her!
What they will love : After Mia and the White Lion and The Wolf and the Lion, French filmmaker Gilles de Maistre is back with The Last Jaguar. An adventure film in which a little girl will cross the American continent to find her friend Hope, a jaguar hunted by animal traffickers.
An environmentalist fable that allows young people to discover the fauna and flora of the Amazon forest, its inhabitants and the pitfalls they face.
In line with the director’s previous films, the feature film orchestrates the encounter between a little girl and a real jaguar. Two animals, named Gem and Hope, were also used for the purposes of the feature film.
Gilles de Maistre explains in the press kit: “A year before filming, we started impregnation with Airam, who plays Autumn as a child. She was able to play with Hope and Gem until she was four months old – then the jaguars grew up and it became risky for Airam, so we stopped. We boxed up all the first images. Meanwhile, Lumi was also getting involved with the jaguars, she was playing with them, but without us filming her. It lasted a year. Then the shooting of the entire part of the film where Autumn returns to the jungle and finds her jaguar was able to begin.”
A character inspired by Mowgli
The scenes with the baby jaguar will melt the spectators and are also reminiscent of the Jungle Book. And this is normal since the screenwriters Prune and Gilles de Maistre were inspired by Mowgli to write the character of Autumn (played by Lumi Pollack on screen). The little girl grew up in the jungle with a baby jaguar and left the forest to join civilization. What would happen if after living among men for 8 years, Mowgli came back to see Bagheera and Baloo?
What can scare them : The film is suitable for ages 8 and up since certain themes are complicated for younger viewers. Autumn is a rebellious pre-teen who doesn’t hesitate to talk back to her teacher, lies and runs away to the other side of the world.
We learn pretty early on that Autumn’s mother died and that’s why the little girl and her father moved to New York.
The film talks about wildlife trafficking and deforestation. The animal traffickers have guns, and during one sequence they kidnap Autumn and Hope. A scene that could worry young people.
What they will keep deep inside: Through this film (and the director’s previous works), audiences learn about the direct impacts of deforestation on the animals and people of the Amazon. Gilles de Maistre explains that this is his way of campaigning.
An activist cinema
“It’s a new activist cinema. I have always made films that denounce injustices, inequalities, oppression, crimes. But for around ten years with my wife Prune, who is also the screenwriter of our films, we have wanted to campaign for, rather than against. Because we realized that the transmission of messages was done much more effectively this way. Protection of animals, forests, water, the planet… These are all themes that I address, but with poetry. What I want is not to denounce but to be heard. For this I start from the greatest complexity to move towards simplicity.“
In, young Autumn understands that her friend is in danger and that she cannot keep her with her. She therefore wishes to take her to a biological corridor in order to make her safe. The film therefore discusses the solutions put in place by associations to counter animal trafficking networks.
The film also makes it clear that you should never abandon your ideals and try everything for what you believe to be right.