If you don’t know female hunter Rebecca Francis by name, you’ve certainly seen her: a photo of her and a dead giraffe went viral in 2015, when Ricky Gervais tweeted it. Now, Channel 4 (in a wily piece of programming) takes us behind the scenes to see what their lives are like.
Why do they carry out such a controversial sport? Together with Croat Jacine Jadresko, the documentary catches them both in action and away from their game. The frankly barbaric practice will be sickening to watch for those who oppose animal cruelty, but their attitudes towards it are just as dubious: one moment sees them hide a bloody wound on a kill while posing for a photo, while another sees them confess their motivation for continuing: “Buck Fever”, the rush of adrenaline that leaves the hunter shaking after what they’ve done.
Rebecca calls it “overwhelming”, “wonderful” and a “celebration”. Even for those who strongly disagree, though, this documentary also serves as an important reminder that there are people behind the headlines, as we see them react to the threats they receive online.
The Women Who Kill Lions is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.