Hear Her Roar

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Published December 30, 2010

According to National Geographic, within the past 50 years, the lion popu­lation has plummeted from 450,000 to as few as 20,000 worldwide—a decline so precipitous that we can anticipate extinction by 2020. In the case of the riveting new documentary The Last Lions, directed by Dereck and Beverly Joubert and narrated by Jeremy Irons, that notion becomes heartbreakingly real, as ostracized lioness Ma Di Tau (“Mother of Lions”) and her three fragile cubs are forced to flee to an island in Botswana’s Oka­vango Delta by swimming a crocodile-infested river. Challenged not only by their waterlogged territory but also by the deadly and unmanageable prey, the buffalo, Ma continues to battle to protect her family from a competitive pride of lionesses. The imagery of Africa’s untouched grasslands, put to a pulsing tribal beat, captures the beauty and dangers of the vanishing lion world. More info at movies.nationalgeographic.com