When Lambs Become Lions (2019) - Rotten Tomatoes

When Lambs Become Lions2019

When Lambs Become Lions (2019)



Critic Consensus: When Lambs Become Lions uses one family's difficult choices to untangle a complicated -- and enraging -- struggle over animal rights in Africa.

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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 as he became part of their everyday lives. The result is a rare and visually arresting look through the perspectives and motives of the people at the epicenter of the conservation divide.


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Critic Reviews for When Lambs Become Lions

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (7)

[I]n the hands of documentarian Jon Kasbe, making his striking feature debut after a handful of short films, the movie is something far less binary, and far more intriguing.

December 9, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Kasbe spent years among these people, and his movie is an intense 74-minute distillation of his dedication.

December 5, 2019 | Full Review…

Grapples with thorny material without overstaying its welcome.

November 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Visually arresting and startlingly intimate.

November 22, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Jon Kasbe's diamond-hard but humane documentary is most impressive in its equally divided sympathies between hunter, hunted and guardian.

November 22, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Fascinating and affecting, if a bit sluggish until it finds its narrative way...

November 21, 2019 | Full Review…

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