To Walk With Lions
Reviewed by Louise Howard
Starring: Richard Harris, John Michie, Ian Bannen & Kerry Fox
Directed by: Carl Schultz
Running Time: 106 minutes
To Walk With Lions is a continuation of the story of George Adamson and the Kora Reserve after the films Born Free and Living Free. With Richard Harris as George Adamson, To Walk With Lions tells the story of a young man, Tony Fitzjohn (played by John Michie), who ends up working at Kora reserve in Kenya with George Adamson and his brother Terrance (Ian Bannen). After a rocky start, Fitzgerald discovers his life-calling and is totally enamoured by both Kora and the lions to whom George has devoted his life to rehabilitating and releasing back into the wild. George teaches Fitzgerald all he knows about lions, and the land he has made his home. He also meets anthropologist Lucy Jackson (Kerry Fox), who manages to tame the wild-child Fitzgerald and help him see that some things are worth fighting for.
However, as the years go by, external pressures from poachers, local tribesmen and the government begin to take their toll but Fitzgerald is determined he will fight them all to keep Kora as it has always been – a safe haven for the animals of Africa. After numerous setbacks and threats from both locals, government officials and Somali bandits, Lucy sees the fight for Kora is futile and tries to convince Fitzgerald that he would be better to start a new reserve in Tanzania, away from the growing conflict surrounding Kora. However, George will not hear of leaving Kora or his lions, a decision that proves to be fatal.
Based on the true stories of George Adamson and Tony Fitzgerald, To Walk With Lions is a heart-warming tale of compassion and conservation and a conviction that man is not set above animals, but must coexist along-side them. With the beautiful music of Alan Reeves set against the breath-taking scenery of Africa, this film really highlights the importance of conservation, along with the many issues and struggles it faces, which are as relevant now as when the film was released and also when the story is set. A brilliant film, though there are some scenes which younger children (and some adults) may find distressing.
Available to buy from Amazon here.