2012   USA, South Africa Big Cats of the Timbavati
Big Cats of the Timbavati Image Cover
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Director:Stefania Müller
Studio:Obsessively Creative
Writer:Stefania Müller
Duration:180 min
Stefania Müller  ...  (Director)
Stefania Müller  ...  (Writer)
Otto Clemens  ...  Narrator (voice)
Grant Innes McLachlan  ...  Composer
Lianne Steenkamp  ...  Cinematographer
Ronette van der Walt  ...  Editor
Charlene Waite  ...  Editor
Summary: The wild terrain of South Africa’s Timbavati reserve is the backdrop to this epic trilogy. Over a two year period, filmmakers follow the everyday struggle for survival of an old lion king at the end of his prime and three aggressive lion brothers ready to fight for his pride.

Witness as a powerful leopard masters a huge territory and an expert leopard huntress battles it out with her bad tempered counterpart. For these big cats every day is a battle between life and death.

King's Pride

In an intricate web of territories, the Lions of Timbavati, near the Kruger, play out their true life drama. The Sohebele Pride is ruled by Timbavati's most successful lion king, but his tenure has come to an end. He leaves behind five immature cubs and two lionesses vulnerable to the encroaching new coalition of Timbavati brothers. Young, strong and aggressive they form a new pride with three lioness sisters. For the first time on television we show the wild, live birth of their cubs. Over two years we follow these two lion prides in their quest to defend and invade territories. For the first time on television we show the wild live birth of lion cubs.

Tender Killers

Over two years, in the wilderness of Timbavati, near Kruger, we follow two mother leopards in their struggle to raise their cubs to adulthood. They tackle the job in very different ways. Mbali is the old lady, she's a relaxed mother and she will, for the first time in her life, successfully raise a cub to independence. Rockfig is more strict, she too will succeed but she will lose her life in the process. Both mothers need to be tender mothers and ruthless killers. In an astonishing sequence Mbali lets a warthog piglet cuddle up to her before killing it to take it back to her cub.

Blood Ties

Africa's most formidable predators live in family groups. We follow the lives of three of these - lion, wild dog and hyena – as they cross paths in Timbavati, near Kruger. The Timbavati pride is a newly formed coalition of three lion brothers, three lionesses and their new-born cubs. In comparison, the Sohebeles have lost their father and their territory. The 5 youngsters are left to their own devices. We compare the structure of the lions' family group to a pack of wild dogs that visit the Timbavati, and the local hyena clan, lead by a powerful matriarch. All three families work in very different ways with one purpose in mind – survival of the species.

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