Scene from the film The Lion Hunters
Scene from the film The Lion Hunters
Scene from the film The Lion Hunters
Scene from the film The Lion Hunters
Scene from the film The Lion Hunters
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The Lion Hunters

  • France
Audio Tracks 

We discover vanishing hunting customs in a village on the borders of Mali and Niger. The natives raise their herds in the brush where, oddly enough, cattle and lions get along. Sometimes, the lions “break the pact” and attack the herds. That is when the lion hunt is conducted — with bow and arrow and every four years. The hunters make their own bows and poison-tipped arrows. Rites, dances and incantations accompany preparation of the poison, called Boto. They exorcize the evil spells and lay the snares. The beast, caught in a snare, is shot at close range; the hunters sing the praises of the beast, whose throat will be cut so that its “soul” will not be baleful and its flesh will be edible. Returning to the village, the hunters relate their exploits to the children — exploits that will soon be legends.

A version of The Lion Hunters with English voiceover is available here.

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  • Original Title
    La chasse au lion à l'arc
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Jean Rouch
  • Cinematography
    Jean Rouch
  • Runtime
    77 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • France
  • Format
    • Colour is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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