We held a showing of the rough cut of “Elephants in the Coffee” on Monday night in Baldwin Library at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. I was gratified by the reception. They applauded. I’m not used to hearing that.
I try to watch how the audience reacts, and they seemed very attentive during most of the film. It drew out some strong moments of laughter, too. And I could tell when they were getting a little bored.
When I compared this to the first showing to a rural studies class, when I presented a version that was 12 minutes longer, I noticed that this version of the film did not seem as dark. I still think we need to shorten several elements of the film and try to bring a hopeful upswing at the end. Some of the new material D.K. Bhaskar has obtained this fall will help in that regard, as will the comments from people in the audience.
There is hope for elephants in south India. And for farmers, too.
Dr. Thomas Grant
Professor of Journalism at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College