Rogue Rubin’s Lion Spy takes you through a wide range of emotions in its 76 minutes, from anger all the way to being inspired. A fantastic and urgent documentary that pushes you into action.
When an unlikely young Australian female activist discovers lions are on the verge of imminent extinction, the only way for her to gain access to the truth is to create an alias and go undercover, alone, in deepest, darkest Africa to try and save them.
As sadly to be expected with such a documentary, there is graphic footage present of the slaughter of animals. So, if that is a struggle for you, then it best to know early on what you are to expect. For the film to have the impact required, though, it needs that footage in Lion Spy. There needs to be physical visual proof of what is happening, and Rubin never exploits the subject. She is making her point as clear as day, which sadly means the audience has to see the point.
When we do, it is as horrible and infuriating as you can imagine. With hunters being callous and merely there for the thrill, there are other hunters who join them who you would not expect, firmly throwing all preconceived notions of the stereotypical hunter of endangered animals out the window. It is these interactions that utterly fascinate you as a viewer. What some of these people believe is astonishing, and the psychology of their reasoning brings forth all new questions that Rubins tries to answer.
While this is mainly to show what is happening to the lions in Africa and the reasons and psychology behind it, it really needs to have at least someone present to discuss what can be done to stop it, to move it along to help save the species. If the topic of conversation were brought up, it would complete the film. Nevertheless, it remains a very strong piece with an engaging person in Rubin to guide us.
Lion Spy does its job and then some with its plea to help conserve these wonderful animals, delivering a strong and important message that we need to heed.
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