Experience an up-close look at the controversial passion and resulting infamy of big-game hunters Rebecca Francis and Jacine Jadresko.
Information Page: https://uk.newonnetflix.info/info/80185722
A couple of years ago Ricky Gervais shared some photos of female trophy hunters and the internet practically exploded (well, in the UK at least). After this show was added to Netflix last week and, subsequently, the Facebook page got spammed by anti-hunters, I thought I would watch this documentary to see if it really did “glorify hunting” as many claimed.
“The Women Who Kill Lions” is a documentary that originally aired on Channel 4 and follows two (in)famous female trophy hunters Rebecca Francis and Jacine Jadresko. We start with Jacine’s recounting of her lion hunt before learning the background of both our subjects. Jacine is the daughter of a Croatian millionaire and in her 3 years of hunting has killed 29 different species. She has a 10 year old son, Diesel, who comes hunting with her and who says it makes him “feel alive”; they spend their lives either in Croatia or Canada.
Rebecca is from Wyoming in America and has grown up hunting from a young age in an area where hunting is the norm. She uses a bow rather than guns and travels the world for specific kills along with her husband and two sons. She hasn’t killed a lion – yes, the title is a bit misleading…
Hunting is predominantly seen as a man’s ‘sport’ and so having two females in the spotlight was obviously of interest to the documentary makers however, other than showing us pink guns (can’t we just let guns be guns?!) in an american hunting shop, there’s not really much discussion about gender and hunting. I thought this could have been an interesting aspect to cover but sadly it wasn’t.
The documentary continues to go into the history of both women with a mixture of photos, video and ‘reality-TV’ style interviews while they’re going about their business. Every now and then we’ll hear the filmmakers ask direct questions which is a method that I personally like. As we learn more about both Jacine and Rebecca it’s clear to see just how different these two individuals are – one clearly hunting for fun, fame and followers and the other for conservation and food. Their styles are both very different too; one using guns to take multiple shots, getting excited that she just grazed the animal and needing a few more shots for the kill; the other planning in advance what single shot would be most effective for a quick kill using a bow.
Regardless of your thoughts on hunting, this is an interesting insight into the different reasons for it. Personally I simply cannot get my head around the idea of ‘trophy-hunting’ but can fully understand it in terms of using the meat for food in Africa to feed a whole village after acquiring the relevant permits etc. I think the controversy is borne from the fact that in the UK we don’t need to hunt to eat – we simply pop along to Morrisons for our steak and we can feel good that no animals were harm… oh, hang on… In other countries, hunting for food is how you stay alive and in all honesty is it really any different to growing cows for beef? Maybe it’s because we only see bears and lions zoos in the UK but cows are everywhere so they don’t matter.
Overall “The Women Who Kill Lions” doesn’t glorify hunting and makes it clear that the general population don’t like trophy hunting (in the UK at least) – it is a pretty balanced documentary that allows two individuals, who happen to be women, to tell the viewers their reasons for what they do. It’s one of those shows that doesn’t set out to change your opinion. Whichever side of the hunting argument you are on I would expect it to bolster that opinion but, at the same time, hopefully give some insight into ‘the other side’.
Have you seen this documentary? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!