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What to know:
SENTRIES OF THE DELTA, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
80 minutes
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I like that The Sentries Of The Delta explores environmental issues, which is relevant to the world we live in today. I particularly like the scenes showing two or more screens at the same time. That happens when the rescue workers try to locate the kids who have gone missing while trying to find the poachers. I also like the determination for justice when these kids learn what poaching is and are willing to stop it even if they have to face massive challenges.

The story follows a group of kids in the Danube Delta Natural Reserve that break away from their camp after discovering fish floating on the water. The floating fish lead them to a damaging, illegal and dangerous form of fishing, which is being done by poachers. They are threatened by the poachers once their plan is discovered. A chase ensues and all kinds of action take place, the kids have to work very hard to expose the poachers and their fishing tactics.

I like how the film starts off showing a pretty typical camp life and turns into an adrenaline-filled adventure. I especially like how realistic the entire chase scene appears, from having to go into an unknown land to waiting for help, to the rescue and police boats showing up. The camera work is suitable for exhibition. The first person view when the kids were hiding after they managed to steal the electronic device that they had gotten, which can put the audience in the children's shoes. The close up scenes when the child or children are teased by their peers are particularly good.

The location, Danube Delta, is in between Romania and Ukraine. The sets are typical camping sets, kayaks, boats and tents. The background music, which includes lighthearted, rhythmic music and tense, suspenseful music all works well. The rhythmic music enhances the paddling scene earlier in the movie and the suspenseful music enhances the idea of doing shady things. The actors' performances are all quite good, although there are no outstanding performances. My favorite part of the film is when the kids manage to capture all the footage of the poachers threatening them, which serves as evidence that they are indeed poachers. It displays that they are willing to fight for justice.

The message of the film is about taking care of the environment and fight for what is right. It also addresses the consequences of greed and doing illegal things, both of which can get you into trouble. Be aware that there is some profanity and some negative behaviors such as a beating, drinking, setting up illegal traps, teasing and bullying and gender inequality.

I give this film 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18. The dialogue is in Romanian with English subtitles, so you have to be able to read to appreciate the film. It teaches environmental values and lessons. Reviewed by Tom W., KIDS FIRST!

The Sentries of the Delta is a Romanian film with dialogue in Romanian and English subtitles. The likable mentor in this film is a teacher who brings a group of children to the Delta's edge to learn about fish, animals, nature and each other. It is enjoyable to see how these kids, without their parents present, bond and eventually take on poachers who are illegally killing fish and animals with cruel tools and unethical means.

The production value is good, in that the camera angles and editing is interesting and the scenery is gorgeous. The young actors are wide-eyed and curious, but cynicism and bullying are ever-present in the pecking order and is well portrayed. The villains are poachers headed by the 'beloved' man, named Godfather, are mean-spirited to each other and down-right cruel to animals, tugging on the hearts of the audience to rally behind the risky behavior of the kids intent on catching them. I might add that one of the scenes looks fake when they 'catch the poachers' who roll into the nets laid out for them. But most scenes had me scared of the poachers, worried for the kids and waiting for the next delicious meal served at the camp; that makes for good storytelling.

The message of the film is about taking care of the environment and fighting for what is right. One thing I didn't care for is that the villains are stereotyped in that they are brown-skinned and dirty.

I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10

While in an environmental camp in the Danube Delta Natural Reserve, a group of 8 children break away from the rest of the members of the camp and discover some poachers, who are using an electric device to fish, which is extremely damaging and dangerous. The children are brushed away and mocked by the poachers and, in order to get their revenge, the children decide to steal their electric device the next day. A chase begins between the children and the poachers and all kinds of events take place in-between, until the so called fishermen are exposed for what they really are. From Romania
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