Even by Peggy Siegal's usual high celebrity quotient, the event was a coup: Hillary Clinton's introduction of a short documentary, White Gold, at its premiere at MoMA. Last Wednesday, she addressed a packed screening room: Candice Bergen, Christie Brinkley, Chuck Close, Albert Maysles, Barbara Kopple, Lawrence O'Donnell, David Schwimmer, and many others. The film's subject, the dire plight of Africa's elephant population would serve as horror enough. Images of elephants mutilated for their tusks are graphic, potent reminders that attention must be paid, not just for preservation of a magnificent species, but as a deterrent to something close to Clinton's office: Security. As the documentary narrated by Clinton makes clear, the tusks are coveted by a growing middle class in China, eager for the trinkets carved out of the valuable ivory. But utilizing more and more sophisticated techniques for the plunder, terrorist groups benefit from the economics of this big business. As she suggested, director Arne Glimcher and others like Sigourney Weaver who starred as Dian Fossey in Gorillas in the Mist, a 1988 feature shedding light on the poaching of Africa's wildlife, the market for ivory should end.
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