The Women Who Kill Lions

Experience an up-close look at the controversial passion and resulting infamy of big-game hunters Rebecca Francis and Jacine Jadresko.

Year: 2016
Certificate: G
Director: Neil Rawles
Starring: Neil RawlesRebecca FrancisRebecca FrontJacine Jadresko

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A couple of years ago Ricky Gervais shared some photos of female trophy hunters and the internet practically exploded (well, in the UK at least). After this show was added to Netflix last week and, subsequently, the Facebook page got spammed by anti-hunters, I thought I would watch this documentary to see if it really did “glorify hunting” as many claimed.

“The Women Who Kill Lions” is a documentary that originally aired on Channel 4 and follows two (in)famous female trophy hunters Rebecca Francis and Jacine Jadresko. We start with Jacine’s recounting of her lion hunt before learning the background of both our subjects. Jacine is the daughter of a Croatian millionaire and in her 3 years of hunting has killed 29 different species. She has a 10 year old son, Diesel, who comes hunting with her and who says it makes him “feel alive”; they spend their lives either in Croatia or Canada.

Rebecca is from Wyoming in America and has grown up hunting from a young age in an area where hunting is the norm. She uses a bow rather than guns and travels the world for specific kills along with her husband and two sons. She hasn’t killed a lion – yes, the title is a bit misleading…

Hunting is predominantly seen as a man’s ‘sport’ and so having two females in the spotlight was obviously of interest to the documentary makers however, other than showing us pink guns (can’t we just let guns be guns?!) in an american hunting shop, there’s not really much discussion about gender and hunting. I thought this could have been an interesting aspect to cover but sadly it wasn’t.

The documentary continues to go into the history of both women with a mixture of photos, video and ‘reality-TV’ style interviews while they’re going about their business. Every now and then we’ll hear the filmmakers ask direct questions which is a method that I personally like. As we learn more about both Jacine and Rebecca it’s clear to see just how different these two individuals are – one clearly hunting for fun, fame and followers and the other for conservation and food. Their styles are both very different too; one using guns to take multiple shots, getting excited that she just grazed the animal and needing a few more shots for the kill; the other planning in advance what single shot would be most effective for a quick kill using a bow.

Regardless of your thoughts on hunting, this is an interesting insight into the different reasons for it. Personally I simply cannot get my head around the idea of ‘trophy-hunting’ but can fully understand it in terms of using the meat for food in Africa to feed a whole village after acquiring the relevant permits etc. I think the controversy is borne from the fact that in the UK we don’t need to hunt to eat – we simply pop along to Morrisons for our steak and we can feel good that no animals were harm… oh, hang on… In other countries, hunting for food is how you stay alive and in all honesty is it really any different to growing cows for beef? Maybe it’s because we only see bears and lions zoos in the UK but cows are everywhere so they don’t matter.

Overall “The Women Who Kill Lions” doesn’t glorify hunting and makes it clear that the general population don’t like trophy hunting (in the UK at least) – it is a pretty balanced documentary that allows two individuals, who happen to be women, to tell the viewers their reasons for what they do. It’s one of those shows that doesn’t set out to change your opinion. Whichever side of the hunting argument you are on I would expect it to bolster that opinion but, at the same time, hopefully give some insight into ‘the other side’.

Have you seen this documentary? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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7 thoughts on “The Women Who Kill Lions

    1. I’m suddenly feeling the need to stop paying for Netflix any longer. What a putrid show for them to air. These psychotic bitches should be the ones hunted down and shot to death.

  1. I think you missed the Bow hunter’s real reason for hunting. It was not what she wanted you to believe and said that is the actual motivation. I believe you took her at her word. Naively, in my opinion. The motivation, in my opinion was exposed while about to “kill” (not hunt) the Black Tail Deer.

    Revisit that part of the movie and you will witness something truly revealing and dark.

    It seemed to me too familiar with what serial killers talk about feeling just before, during and after their kill.

    Remember the Black Tail was baited at a feeding station. I also believe the work and staging was done over time to find the bucks territory and place the feeding station to bring it to its death trap. If she enjoys the “accuracy” and showing off her “skill” with a bow I would suggest competition archery.

    This is just an educated guess from hearing interviews with incarcerated killers. She enjoys a common bond that is so intense there is only “one” way to satisfy. They all seem to admit that they would keep doing it if out and free.

    One last note: I spend a great deal of time filming wildlife from blinds. I don’t artificial bait my subjects.
    I learn a great deal from hunting and trapping magazines and on line on how to track and get close to your subject. Most of what I read and see on Youtube is disturbing. They are proud of what they do and extremely eager to share. The trappers are the most scary.

    I try to counter these actions by showing the public their hidden lives, their beauty and the value in showing them alive and free.

    It was painful to watch these 2 woman and watching one encourage her son to kill while totally detached. I shot a little bird with a BB gun right between the eyes when I was his age. I was so proud of my aim and excitedly told my father. He, without hesitation, reprimanded me. I never did that again. I am sorry to this day. I am 57 years old and spend spare time rescuing birds of prey and filming them in the wild.

    1. Good point – she *does* get too excited at that part, but in general she seems fairly level-headed as a hunter and, again in general, not as bloodthirsty.

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