Grand Illusion Cinema
1403 Northeast 50th Street, Northeast Seattle, Seattle
In the Kenyan bush, a small-time ivory dealer fights to stay on top while forces mobilize to destroy his trade. When he turns to his younger cousin, a conflicted wildlife ranger who hasn’t been paid in months, they both see a possible lifeline. The plummeting elephant population in Africa has captured the attention of the world, and as the government cracks down, both poachers and rangers face their own existential crises—what is the value of elephant life relative to human life? And can we understand these hunters who will risk death, arrest, and the moral outrage of the world to provide for their families? Director Jon Kasbe followed the subjects of WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS over a three-year period, gaining an extraordinary level of access and trust on both sides of the ideological and ethical spectrum. The result is a rare and visually arresting look at the perspectives and motives of the people at the epicenter of this conservation crisis. In Swahili with English subtitles.
Note: While WHEN LAMBS BECOME LIONS is committed to shedding light on the human and wildlife tragedies that play out in this world, it does NOT depict animals of any kind being harmed.
"Powerful... [The filmmakers have] imbued When Lambs Become Lions with the feel of a thriller rather than a polemic." Screen International
"Supple, complex, and darkly gorgeous... Adding to the fraught complexities of economic insecurity and environmental devastation, When Lambs Become Lions wraps its story in a sweep of broodingly gorgeous imagery." The Playlist
"3½ stars... A triumph of shrewdly economical storytelling." RogerEbert.com