Listen: Aussie filmmaker Rogue Rubin talks with Laura Bennett about her documentary 'Lion Spy'
While lions are one of the most iconic creatures in the world, few of us would be aware of how precarious their future is.
Wild cat conservation organisation Panthera reported that today, “lions are extinct in 26 African countries, have vanished from over 95 per cent of their historic range, and experts estimate that there are only about 20,000 left in the wild”.
It’s a fact that shocked Australian filmmaker Rogue Rubin, prompting the release of her new documentary Lion Spy.
In the film, Rogue goes undercover in Africa as a big game photographer and video intern, getting inside the famously impenetrable industry of trophy hunting.
Surrounded by men and guns on the remote African plains, Rogue sets aside her own views as a conservationist (and vegetarian), to understand the intentions of a trade directly linked to lions’ survival.
“When I discovered that it was lion trophy hunters, with their seemingly limitless bank accounts and their unheard of political influence, who were causing the lion’s imminent extinction, I came to the realisation that the only way to get close to them was to actually be ‘one of them’,” Rogue said.
“Without terrific foresight I created an alias, which I hoped would allow me into their private world.
“I had no idea it would give me unfiltered access to such a powerful, scary clandestine world.”
Lion Spy is confronting… but Rogue said the pain only serves to stir us toward hope.
Lion Spy is confronting, as you see not only lions losing their lives, but also giraffe, waterbucks and gazelles, but Rogue said the pain only serves to stir us toward hope.
“Don’t come out of this crying, don’t come out of this with despair,” she told Hope 103.2.
“Come out of it with knowledge and excitement that now you know the truth and now you can make a difference.”
Lion Spy is in cinemas now.
Listen to Rogue’s full interview with Laura Bennett in the player above.
Feature image: Lion Spy the Film Facebook