Some 90 minutes are more enjoyable than others: 90 minutes watching by beloved Arsenal, great; 90 minutes in the gym, tiring but great; 90 minutes talking crap and having a drink with some mates, also great. But 90 minutes watching a documentary on the plight of South Africa’s captive-bred lions…that’s not great. Not in the least.
But that is how I spent 90 minutes of Thursday night. Megan joined me, and we headed through to the Durban International Film Festival‘s late-night screening of Blood Lions, a film that sinks its claws [#sorrynotsorry] into the controversial “canned hunting” industry. It is by no means an easy watch.
Produced by veteran environmental journalist Ian Michler, Blood Lions is a vitally important film. It speaks to what we are prepared to accept — or not — as a nation. It speaks to animal cruelty issues. It speaks to tourism [and responsible tourism, in particular] implications. It speaks to economic implications. It speaks to conservation. It speaks to the ease of organising hunts, right up to the point of picking in advance which lion you’d like to kill [I’m not joking…this is legit the situation]. It speaks to volunteerism [or voluntourism, if you will]. It’s as comprehensive as it is critical, irrespective of your views on hunting.
It’s very much worth the watch — as hard a watch as it is.