THE LION HUNTERS
- THE LION HUNTERS
- (LA CHASSE AU LION À L'ARC)
- 1967, Jean Rouch, France, 80 min.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, this celebrated documentary details the techniques and rituals of the Gao, a special group of professional hunters who are called upon when the peaceful coexistence between cattle herders and lions is disrupted by a lion who kills only for pleasure. Several hunts are shown, most notably one for a lion known as “The American,” because of his exceptional strength and cunning. Rouch’s poetic commentary both signals the filmmaker’s involvement in the events and adds a legendary dimension to them.
Preceded by MAMMY WATER (1955, 19 min.), a depiction of the expert Ghana fishermen known as “surf boys” and the rituals they use to appease the water spirits. Both in French with English subtitles. HDCAM video. (MR)