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Movies about Tracking

This page contains suggested and recommended movies that may be of interest to those who are interested in survival, tracking, and nature.
Please note that most of the movies listed here are of the "entertainment" variety, rather than of the "instructional" type.
Tracking Stories and Documentaries
The Hunted (released March 14, 2003) Tom Brown Jr. served as Technical Advisor for this movie.
For lots more info on The Hunted, visit the Tracker Trail website.

   This movie is about a part-native FBI agent who discovers his native roots.  Actor Graham Greene plays a Native police officer who is skilled in pressure-releases.

    An independent film made in Australia.  Basically it is about 2 British youngsters who somehow get lost in the outback of Australia, wander freely through the desert and somehow find an oasis.  At this oasis they drink all the water they need and eat the fruit off the trees.  After about three days they decide they have to leave and then all of a sudden an Aboriginie is comes over the dune chasing a lizard with a spear.  So the rest of the movie goes on about how they wander the landscape and the young warrior hunts, collects plants, medicinal plants and so forth.  In the end the two British youngsters go back to civilization but they dream aboutthe freedom they received from wandering.  An excellent movie.

The Great Dance: A Hunter's Story
   A "MUST SEE" film for all Tracker types!  This film depicts the day-to-day life of a group of bushmen hunters in Africa's Kalahari.  A thrilling documentary of how tracking & hunting are inseparably weaved into their lives.  It shows how the hunters identify, age, and interpret the tracks they find, and you are taken along as they track - often while walking, sometimes even while running.  For stealth, especially when spread out and tracking a herd of animals, they use sign language to "talk" to each other regarding the size & gender of the animals, when they were there, where they were going, their emotional state, and how they may have been interacting with other animals.  Need motivation for getting in some Dirt Time? Have difficulty explaining the mystery & magic of tracking to family or friends? This will do the trick. You are taken on numerous hunting foray adventures over the course of a year.  The wildlife footage and cinematic effects are amazing - you are actually taken on the hunt, not just shown footage of the hunter with a carcass after the fact.
   A trailer for the film reads:  "The !Xo San of the central Kalahari have been a part of this vast desert landscape since ancient times.  !Nqate is their leader. Together with his friends Karoha and Xlhose, they hunt as their ancestors have for thousands of years.  'We are San bushmen, sons and daughters of the first people,' he explains.  'We know hunting.  This is what we were born to do.'  Through their eyes we are shown a world invisible to outsiders.  The subtlest sign are imperceptible to the untrained eye, but they are enough to lead !Nqate to his prey.  Tracks in the sand are only the beginning - the skills of the San hunter are virtually a sixth sense, a complex bond between man and animal.  The ultimate expression of this relationship is the "chasing hunt" - a run to the death.  This incredible feat of skill, tenacity and endurance is rarely practiced and has never before been filmed.  We join Karoha as he alone runs down his prey, tracking at high speed over difficult terrain and in 120 degree F heat, until man or animal must collapse from sheer exhaustion." 
   The New York Times says: "In a very real way, 'The Great Dance' constitutes an act of preservation and a requiem. A 30,000-year history addressed with immense visual beauty, compassion and a sense of adventure."
   The film's title refers to how the hunters consider tracking to be like dancing, both of which are how they communicate with their God.  In the film is plenty of footage of weapon preparation, stalking, skinning & primitive cooking, as well as extensive reflection on religion/philosophy, much of which matches Grandfather's philosophy exactly. [There is not much shown in the film regarding skills like plant gathering, fire, water, shelter, traps & snares, cordage, weaving or basketry, and very little is shown of the lives of the women & children of the tribe.]
   [The footage of the hunting & skinning is quite graphic - if you were to take a "non-Tracker" or non-hunter friend along to the film, I would recommend prepping them for witnessing animal deaths & blood.  Also be prepared for a very sad ending to the film, as the tribe has recently been stripped of their hunting licenses.]
   The film's website is: www.senseafrica.com
Reviewed by Brian Booth

Excerpts from The Great Dance....

"You think how hard Kudu is working. You feel it in your own body. You see it in the footprints. She is with you and your legs are not so heavy. When you feel Kudu is with you, you are now controlling its mind. Its eyes are no longer wild. You have taken Kudu into your mind. As it tires you become strong. You take its energy. Your legs become free. You run fast like yesterday."

"Tracking is like dancing, because your body is happy. It is telling you the hunting will be good. You feel it in the dance. It tells you. When you are tracking, and dancing, you are talking with God."

"In the old days we could speak to the rain, and ask the sky to send soft rain. The sky used to listen to us, but now lightning is very dangerous. It brings no rain, it kills because our ways are being changed."

"We know tracking. This is what we are born to do. We talk silently with our hands. And we read the animal's stories."

"We see where cheetah passed. We put on cheetah's mind."

When you track an animal you must become the animal. You feel a tingling in your armpits when the animal is close. Then you know -- the hunt will be good."

Tracking - Instructional
Tracking: Mastering the Basics
- by Dr. James Halfpenny. 
Four-part instructional video series covering 1) Tracking Process and Footprint Identification, 2) Field Techniques, 3) Gaits and Gait Patterns, 4) Interpreting Stories.  Three hours of video provide a short version of Jim's famous two-day, field and lecture introduction to basic tracking.  Includes video shot during Jim's field and classroom lectures. The MUST-KNOWS for trackers! Recommended by Sam Heisz

The way of the Scout


"Some of the things that make this movie intensely entertaining and humorous are related to urban stalking skills, awareness, and particularly a wonderful campaign of psychological warfare waged by the main character.  I think any Tracker student would take great delight in her approach to solving problems.  A great all-round movie which really tickled the Tracker in me." Review by Peter Wiinholt.

Behind Enemy Lines
"A couple of NATO pilots get shot down and one of them uses escape/evasion and survival skills to outwit a tracker that is constantly on his tail in war-torn Bosnia. This tracker is also very in tune with his surroundings (he walks around land mines without looking at the ground and other stuff). This movie doesn't really demonstrate any skills, but it is good for thinking what you would do in that situation." Review by Mike.