Aug 11, 2011

African Cats

by Amanda Barrett and Keith Scholey

Admittedly I brought this book home to read just because it's cover kept catching my eye from the library shelf, with its large beautiful lion's face. I noticed it a few times and declined (it's rather heavy) before finally giving in to the visual temptation and checking it out. It's about the making of the film African Cats, which I'd never heard of before, much less seen. Now I want to, even though the book has given away probably most of the major events in the film. One of the filmmakers was also involved in creating the tv program Big Cat Diary, which is one of my favorite nature shows. So I'm pretty sure I'd like the African Cats production as well.

The film portrays the lives of one cheetah trying to raise her cubs to adulthood, and the doings of a pride of lions including a bunch of half-grown youngsters, some females with small cubs, and one older male who's recently lost his partners. A lot of it focuses on how different the lives of the solitary cheetahs and social lions are. The book tells about how the film was made, the struggles of the producers to find the animals, keep track of them, keep equipment in working order, and hope the animals didn't leave the boundaries of the reserve, because they couldn't follow them without making huge detours. Most of the narrative, though, is about the lives of the cats, all their twists and turns. The text is accompanied by fantastic photographs, and also an array of lovely ink and wash illustrations by Jean-Paul Orpinas. I was enthralled to the last page.

Rating: 4/5 ........ 205 pages, 2011


bermudaonion said...

The movie showed here for a little while, but it didn't last long. Both the book and the movie sound good to me.

Jeane said...

I want to see the film just to see the segment where the cheetahs swim across a river!