TO WALK WITH LIONS - 1999 - Based On A True
You know sometimes whilst channel hopping you come across a film which you find yourself watching and enjoying even though you only happened upon it by accident? Well, I bought this film because I knew that John had a staring role, what I didn't know was that it would be one of the most moving and enjoyable films I had seen in a long while.
The film is set in Kenya in 1980, picking up the story some 25 years after 'Born Free', the story of George and Joy Adamson and their raising of Elsa the lion cub. George and his brother Terence live on a reserve called Kora where George continues to rehabilitate captive and orphan lions for a future in the wild.
John plays Tony Fitzjohn a penniless, head strong Englishman who arrives at the camp purely as a matter of fate. Initially determined not to stay he ends up becoming George's assistant, learning much about the animals and environment of Kora.
There is a continuing theme of poignancy running through the film and somehow the viewer can't help but become entranced by George's soft voice and ways and his devotion to his lions. However there are also many humorous scenes, not least when Tony is asked to 'pee' all over the reserve in order to mark his territory!
The film begins to reach a climax with the arrival of political change and poachers to the countryside around Kora. George's brother, Terence dies of a broken heart shortly after witnessing the senseless culling of a small herd of elephants for their tusks and the government want the Kora reserve back, refusing to issue a new lease to George. Seeing the trouble around them Tony and Lucy ( an anthropologist with local Somali herdsmen who becomes his girlfriend) find a piece of land in Tanzania which could become a new safe haven for George and his lions. Tony is keen to move and leaves to build a settlement on the new site. George refuses to leave his beloved Kora and is sadly murdered at the hands of the bandits. He dies in Tony's arms.
The Cast: Tony Fitzjohn - John Michie. George Adamson - Richard Harris. Terence Adamson - Ian Bannen. Lucy - Kerry Fox. Maxwell - Hugh Quarshie.
Find out more about this film and watch a trailer at www.walkwithlions.co.uk.
Available to buy on DVD