Film makes no bones about horrors of captive lion breeding industry

At month end, members of parliament will attend a screening of Lions, Bones & Bullets, the much anticipated documentary about South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry, which is starting its local and international rollout. 

So far, few members of South Africa’s conservation community have seen the film, although discussions between local television broadcasters and the film’s distributors are under way. 

However, it was screened for British parliamentarians in July ahead of a bill that is expected to ban the import of wildlife trophies into that country by November. It will also soon be available across Europe where similar legislation could follow. 

The feature-documentary, which was completed after nearly three years of investigation and filming in South Africa, Vietnam and Laos, tracks the journey of British conservation writer, Richard Peirce, as he travels from so-called lion ranches in South Africa to wildlife markets in Southeast Asia. 

Included in the film are frank discussions with local lion breeders and wildlife traffickers, clandestine views of the markets that Peirce visits, and views of controversial facilities in which the big cats are housed prior to being shot for the burgeoning trade in lion bones. 

The film is narrated by British actor, Peter Egan, of Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Chariots of Fire fame. 

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