The Beauty of the Beasts

Track down the poachers with dogs. This is the order the Swiss veterinarian Marlene Zähner got from the Congo. Unique mountain gorillas and other wild animals live in the Virunga National Park, but rebels and poachers are threatening paradise.
In 2011, she unexpectedly received a phone call from Congo; the director of the park asked her to help with the rampant poaching. Marlene Zähner is an internationally sought-after specialist in man trailing. She trains bloodhounds and their guides to target criminals. But the plan turns out to be difficult: the rangers of the park have no experience with dogs and are frightened by the large animals. Most of the infrastructure has been destroyed – there are hardly any stores. Everything Marlene needs for her dog squad has to be imported from Switzerland. All of a sudden, smoldering conflict breaks out, and she finds herself caught between the war fronts. But despite the constant adversity, she continues her work undeterredly. Six times a year she travels to the Congo for two weeks a time to advance the anti-poaching project.

  • Verena Endtner
    Von der Rolle, Glückspilze, Eine Mimose ist Beton gegen mich, more
  • Dan Riesen
    Von der Rolle, Glückspilze
  • Verena Endtner
    Von der Rolle, Glückspilze, Eine Mimose ist Beton gegen mich, more
  • Marlene Zähner
    Key Cast
  • Bänz Isler, SONDER Film Music
    Der Bär in mir
  • Sandra Stalder, SONDER Film Music
    Der Bär in mir
  • Kathrin Plüss
    Unter einem Dach, L'Architetto Augusto Guidini, A Long Way Home
  • Pierre Reischer
    Color Correction
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Die Frau mit den Bluthunden
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 1, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Switzerland
  • Language:
    French, Swiss German
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Verena Endtner

Verena Endtner studied environmental science at the University of Bern from 1992 to 1997, which she completed with a master's degree in biology, specializing in air hygiene. After working in a Bank for a year she started her career in directing in 2002 at the London International Film School. After London she moved to Canada to study at the famous Vancouver Film School, where she received her degree in 2005. On returning to Switzerland she worked for different TV stations and started directing her own films.
As a documentary filmmaker, Endtner has completed various feature films, such as «Glückspilze» (2014, Nyon, Giffoni Amnesty International Award), «Von der Rolle» (2019) and «The Beauty of the Beasts» (2019).
In 2007 she was a member of the jury at the 19th Swiss Film and Video Festival in Spiez and Thun.

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Director Statement

In the film «The Beauty of the Beasts», we see how a single person's drive and actions can have a marked effect in preventing what might become a natural disaster.