Vanishing Kings - Desert Lion Legacy
In 2012, an old lioness and her two daughters gave birth to five male cubs in the Namib Desert. The growth and development of these „Five Musketeers“ was the subject of the award-winning documentary „Vanishing Kings“. The young lions were raised by their grandmother, who became the oldest lioness ever recorded in the desert. At the end of „Vanishing Kings“, the „Five Musketeers“ set out to begin their own lives.
„Vanishing Kings II“ continues the story of the five lions as they embark on the next phase of their existence and seek out their own kingdom in the harsh surroundings of the Namib Desert. The documentary explores the lives of these rare lions - and the challenges that eventually decimate the pride that, it was once hoped, would ensure the survival of their species.
Dr. Philip Stander accompanies and observes the lions as they struggle to find sufficient prey while attempting to avoid the dangers posed by humans in the rural villages at the fringes of the desert. Through the eyes of Tullamore, one of the „Five Musketeers“, the viewer is taken on a journey into the depths of Africa and the bonds of brotherhood among lions - and what it means when these bonds are violently broken.
The film follows Tullamore as he attempts to come to terms with his loss while fighting for survival. A glimmer of hope emerges when Tullamore‘s mother gives birth to another four cubs, and life comes full circle when Tullamore himself finds a pride of lionesses at the end of his long, emotional quest and becomes a father.
While accompanying Tullamore on his epic journey, „Vanishing Kings II“ also explores the unique scenery of the Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast, and investigates the relationships between the desert lions and the other animals of this remote, inhospitable part of the world in spectacular visual images.
„Vanishing Kings II“ - a film by the award-winning directors Will and Lianne Steenkamp.
Editor: Alan Miller
Commissioning Editor ORF: Franz Fuchs
Television Premiere: ORF 2 21:05, 10.10.2017