wed 10/08/2022

The Born Free Legacy, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

The Born Free Legacy, BBC Four

The Born Free Legacy, BBC Four

The story of Joy and George Adamson is a long way from the rose-tinted myth

The lion does sometimes lie down with the man - and the woman

If you have fond childhood memories of either the Born Free book or movie, you might want to stay away. From the opening moments of this documentary, the knowledge that lion-loving conservationist George Adamson was fatally shot in the back on a dirt road in Kenya will immediately stop John Barry’s epic and optimistic theme song from swelling to life in your head. But that’s only the beginning of a systematic dismantling of the Born Free myth from a documentary which, ironically, was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Joy Adamson’s unexpected bestseller.

If you have fond childhood memories of either the Born Free book or movie, you might want to stay away. From the opening moments of this documentary, the knowledge that lion-loving conservationist George Adamson was fatally shot in the back on a dirt road in Kenya will immediately stop John Barry’s epic and optimistic theme song from swelling to life in your head. But that’s only the beginning of a systematic dismantling of the Born Free myth from a documentary which, ironically, was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Joy Adamson’s unexpected bestseller.

‘Pre-Born Free, Africa was the Dark Continent and blowing away Big Game was as gentlemanly a pastime as golf or cricket’

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Comments

Wow, this is one of the most disrespectful and distasteful reviews I've read in a long time. And I'm not talking about respecting the documentary - screw that, I haven't even seen it - I'm talking about disrespectful to the story, to the Adamsons, and especially to lions themselves. Just how many times did you have to call them killing machines? Or to make fun of every aspect of this story? You have obviously not read the Born Free books. Disney-esque version of events? There's nothing about any of the three Elsa books that is rose-tinted or Disney-esque. All three books, especially the last, are tortured and wrought with worry, doubt and uncertainty. None of the stories have happy endings - not Elsa's, not her cubs', not the Adamsons'. So... What "rose-tinted myth" are you talking about again? I don't know what the arts desk is - I ended up here following a link - but if it publishes garbage like this review, then it's not worth my time. I'll make a point to read nothing more on this site.

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