This documentary tells the heart warming story of Christian, a lion cub purchased from a London department store in the late 60's and successfully released into the African wild three years... See full summary »
I think many viewers who watch this documentary today will be a lot more sophisticated than viewers who first saw this back in the 1970s. They will see that some scenes in the movie are staged or heavily manipulated. Also, viewers who are largely or completely unfamiliar with real life figure George Adamson or the movie "Born Free" will be bewildered by some parts of the movie. Speaking of Adamson, the movie disappoints by only giving him one (brief) moment in the movie where he gets to tell viewers from his own perspective.
Despite these and other problems, the documentary is compelling. Although leisurely paced, the movie never gets to the point of being boring. The process of returning lions to the wild is well illustrated, showing it's long and hard work. More importantly, the documentary manages to convince the audience that animals like Christian the lion are animals that belong in the wild, and should not be domesticated. I also liked that the movie doesn't sugar coat things, revealing several tragedies that happened during filming. Younger children might be upset or confused by those passages, so if your child is somewhat sensitive, you may want to watch it with your child.
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