2022   UK Lion: Rise and Fall of the Marsh Pride
Lion: Rise and Fall of the Marsh Pride Image Cover
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Director:Pamela Gordon
Studio:BBC
Genre:BigCats
Duration:90 min
Languages:English
IMDb:30024970
Pamela Gordon  ...  (Director)
  ...  (Writer)
 
Jonathan Scott  ...  Narrator
Simon King  ...  Narrator
Brendan Easton  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: It couldn't be more Shakespearean

This starts with an eye-rollingly bad scene of humans acting emotional about ... some lions dying

The next ninety minutes retraces the steps of how they got there, and while not justifying the scene from a performance/scripting point of view, does make you understand the scene and empathize with the people who performed it

I'm familiar with these lions. I watched the 1996 Big Cat Diary that introduced the Marsh Pride, and a handful of documentaries over the next several years that featured them and their changing members. A big male lion helps define a pride and their typical reign lasts 2–3 years at most. Each new male lion kills all the cubs and kids when it arrives

The lions all had names, like Simba, Scruffy. Red and Bibi. 60 Minutes did a show on them. They became celebrities around 2005. Tourists from all over the world visited western Kenya to see them

Tourists bring money to the region for conservation efforts ... and to compensate humans (but not all of them) who face challenges sharing land with lions

- The Maasai people's livelihood depends on cows
- Lions kill cows
- Humans kill lions who kill their cows

It's a sticky wicket

Summary: Documented in television documentaries for over 40 years by the BBC and other broadcasters around the world, the Marsh Pride is the most filmed pride of lions on Earth.

The Marsh Pride battle for survival in Kenya's famous Maasai Mara Reserve, which has become a magnet for tourists, many of them keen to see the pride for themselves. A tale of shifting loyalties, bloody takeovers and sheer resilience, the lions’ story is told by those who filmed them, tried to protect them and lived alongside them, as well as some who ultimately wanted them dead.

Naturalists, guides, vets and conservationists in Kenya and back in the UK offer a unique perspective on the life of these lions. And the Maasai who live and graze their cattle next door to the pride speak about the struggles of living close to these dangerous predators. The Maasai themselves have been forced to give up their nomadic way of life and settle into a sedentary existence. So despite the long relationship of respect and knowledge between Maasai and lion, will it be possible to exist alongside these wild animals in the modern world?



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