The Firefox Guardian
Directed by Gunjan Menon | Review by Riya Saha
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t is not often that we come across powerful, mindful and independent women who have thoughts to change the planet. The director of ‘The Firefox Guardian’, Gunjan Menon is a 25-year-old passionate wildlife filmmaker from India who has recreated a strong monitoring film with a message of protecting the red pandas. In fact, through her film, she made a smart attempt in bringing few unknown faces into limelight who has sacrificed their life for protecting wildlife.
This film is not only a conglomeration of life stories which work hard with the passion for protecting nature but also play an important role in depicting woman empowerment. And why not we have two great ladies the director herself and the unconventional warrior Menuka.
The lady director is a red panda fan from the age of sixteen and surely she did her best in filming the story of adorable fluff balls. Wildlife films are not only a smart attempt to spread awareness but actually, it proves the real condition of these animals. And as usual, people only believe the things that they see and hear.
In the words of Director Gunjan Menon, “ 2016, I came across an article that said there could be fewer than 2500 red pandas left in the wild. These were my favorite animals and it was something that shook me completely. I was pursuing my Masters in Wildlife Filmmaking in Bristol, UK and it was the time when we had to research ideas for our degree films. I knew in my heart this was what I wanted to bring people’s attention to. I’ve always wanted to film red pandas in the wild but I never had the resources but this time, I decided to finally go ahead with my passion and find a story that would be worth telling. I read about Menuka during my story research and I could resonate with her and wanted to give her story a platform to reach the world. She’s an exceptional woman and leaves everyone who meets her inspired. It was challenging to film someone who’d never been on the camera before nor spoke the same language as me but our shared passion for red pandas made it possible to bring the story out to the world.”
This film provides a unique window into the lives of the Forest Guardians and through their eyes, the life of the rarely documented endangered Red Pandas in the wild. Any movie that can pull on your heartstrings deserves a really good rating. The film is shot in Nepal; I felt the aesthetics of the Himalayas are well portrayed. The dense forests and the carefree clouds really made me nostalgic. All thanks to this young director who gave this humble story of professionalism, and wildlife care. Surely ‘The Firefox Guardian’ has a strong message to inspire people all around the world.
So, what are the genres we encounter in the film? – Nature, wildlife, conservation, environmental, activism, women, feminism, endangered, humans and wildlife. All within just a 12 min story. The score captures the emotion of the movie perfectly, and if you’re a true Red Panda lover, I guarantee you’ll you will love to watch the movie for a few more times. Considering Menuka as the lead, her story is worth listening. Guys, let’s get some time and hear what Menuka has to say!
Riya Saha is a Kolkata based writer, editor, journalist and cinephile. She has completed her masters with Journalism and Mass Communication from Calcutta University and currently working as a freelance journalist. Having a great interest in world cinema made Riya join Human Lab Corporation. She is passionate about setting goals and achieving them. She enjoys reading, writing, travelling, socializing and meeting people. She is also very fond of watching International movies.