The impact of the new documentary film Blood Lions on audiences is such that additional screenings have been arranged in Cape Town.
Tickets sold out over all three days of the film’s launch in Cape Town’s Labia theatre last week, and additional screenings have been arranged in Cape Town for Friday 28 August and Tuesday 1 September. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the campaign to stop captive hunting and breeding. Tickets can be booked on webtickets for the 28th of August and the 1st of September.
Aside from influencing public opinion, the film is having a marked affect on the hunting industry in South Africa with a call by the president of PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa), after viewing the film, for a review of lion hunting.
The Africa Geographic team and I attended the first screening in Cape Town. Despite having reported on canned hunting and lion breeding relatively often, the film had a profound affect on me. Not only are scenes very graphic in nature, but candid interviews give valuable insight is given into the mindsets of breeders, hunters, government officials and tourists who have been duped into contributing to the brutal industry by paying to pet cubs and walk with lions. Understanding these mindsets is crucial in achieving a ban of canned hunting, and the challenges involved are apparent in a dramatic scene in which the undercover film team are accosted by a hunting operator – only they keep the cameras rolling.
The lengths to which director and filmmaker Nick Chevalier, conservationist and journalist Ian Michler, and Rick Swayze – an American who poses as a trophy hunter – have gone to to expose this industry is remarkable, as is the determination and passion of first time producer Pippa Hankinson who brought the Blood Lions team together.