Beverly Joubert

Here's a tip: Don't ever assume a movie about lions is easy.

Let's say you've had a long week. And it's finally the weekend and you're fighting off that flu/head-cold bullshit that's been going around, and maybe you're PMSing, and perhaps you've spent the majority of your Saturday afternoon making awkward small talk with distant family members and crying to strangers at a memorial service. You're feeling emotionally and physically exhausted, but you don't want to mope at home, so you decide to go see a movie. And not just any movie, but an easygoing movie, maybe about lions and baby lions and all their fantastic fuzzy-wuzzy cuteness.

THEN THIS IS NOT THE MOVIE FOR YOU.

Support The Stranger

This movie, The Last Lions, is about a lioness who's being hunted by just about every living thing in Africa—crocodiles, buffalos, humans, OTHER LIONS. In the first five minutes, you see Ma di Tau ("Mother of Lions") and her lion husband get attacked by a rival lion gang—they gouge out his eye, they tear apart her flesh, and the two lion lovers get separated in the fight. She spends weeks away from him as she heals. Finally feeling better, she begins to search for her mate and, what's this? Oh! There he is! Dying. In the mud. With hundreds of flies eating his bloody eyehole while he struggles to take his last breaths. Insert sobbing here.

And does life get easier for Ma di Tau? NO. Because now she's a single lion mother, forced to raise and protect the cutest lion cubs in the world all by herself while having to constantly fight like hell for survival. It's an incredible and inspirational story, sure, and the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, but fuck, man, I just wanted to see a sweet little movie about baby wildcats frolicking in some fields. recommended