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The Last Lions (2011)

Jeremy Irons , Dereck Joubert , Dereck Joubert  |  PG |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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The Last Lions + White Lion + Disneynature: African Cats (Two-Disc Blu-ray / DVD Combo in DVD Packaging)
Price for all three: $21.50

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jeremy Irons, Dereck Joubert, Beverly Joubert
  • Directors: Dereck Joubert
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Virgil Films and Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005Z2D88O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,791 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

About the Director

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are award-winning filmmakers from Botswana who have been National Geographic explorers-in-residence for over four years. Their mission is the conservation and understanding of the large predators and key African wildlife species that determine the course of all conservation in Africa.

They have been filming, researching, and exploring in Africa for over 28 years. Their coverage of unique predator behavior has resulted in 22 films, 10 books, 6 scientific papers, and many articles for National Geographic magazine. This body of work has resulted in five Emmys, a Peabody, the World Ecology Award, and a recent induction into the American Academy of Achievement. They recently have been awarded the Presidential Order of Merit by the government of Botswana for their life's work.

Beverly Joubert also is an acclaimed photographer, and many of her photographs have appeared in National Geographic magazine.

Filmmaking for them has always been a way to bring the message of conservation to audiences, and it is estimated that over a billion viewers have seen their film "Eternal Enemies."

Their recent expansion into conservation tourism via their new company, Great Plains, is a venture into community/conservation partnerships in Africa, and Great Plains has received international awards for responsible tourism.

It is the Jouberts' belief that while some areas need the wilderness to be maintained in isolation, other areas will disappear unless viable, extremely-light-ecological-footprint (low-volume, high-cost) benefits are generated for communities. The total amount of impacted conservation land under Great Plains influence is about 1.5 million acres (607,000 hectares). These projects all aim to rehabilitate the environment and return these vast tracts of land to nature.

But it is the plight of big cats that attracts their major effort today. Dereck and Beverly established the Big Cats Initiative, a program with National Geographic designed as an emergency action fund to drive the world's attention to big cats and to develop real solutions to stop the decline that has seen lion numbers drop from 450,000 to 20,000 in 50 years.

"We no longer have the luxury of time when it comes to big cats," says Dereck. "They are in such a downward spiral that if we hesitate now, we will be responsible for extinctions across the globe. If there was ever a time to take action, it is now."

Product Description

Fleeing a raging fire and a rival pride headed by the dangerous cub-killing lioness Silver Eye, Ma di Tau ("Mother of Lions") and her fragile cubs must make their perilous escape by swimming a crocodile-infested river. Remote Duba Island is both a refuge and a strange new world for Ma di Tau and her cubs to conquer. On Duba, Ma di Tau must face off with the island's herd of fierce buffalo whose huge, slashing horns are among the most dangerous weapons in Africa. Although the buffalo are one of her biggest threats, they are also one of her best hopes for survival if she can prevail over them. Yet, even as Ma di Tau faces devastating loss and escalating perils, she becomes part of a stunning turning point in the power dynamics on Duba Island, bringing together a competitive rival pride in a titanic primal bid to preserve the thing that matters most: the future of their bloodlines.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely THE BEST documentary on lions EVER. December 10, 2011
This spectacular movie follows the life of one lioness as she finds a territory of her own, and deals with an antagonistic pride of lions and the massive (and deadly) prey animals in her territory.

The Jouberts capture the lioness' life like no other filmmakers have ever done. They document amazing details of her life, going far beyond the cliches of the average lion documentary. The story they tell is harsh, brutal, and HEARTBREAKING. If you have the fortitude to stick with the movie until the end, the story is ultimately uniquely uplifting.

The narrator's script delves deeply into what the pseudo-scientific types will want to dismiss as "anthropomorphizing", but if you can look at what has been filmed and not know that every aspect of this film is absolutely and beautifully true, including the narration, you're just not paying attention.

I know people who could not sit through the beautiful fable Two Brothers because they thought the tigers suffered too much in the story. This movie is reality, and it is far harder to take than the fable. But if you can take it, you will never forget it.

A very important movie.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best lion documentaries ever made.... December 23, 2011
By Gilly8
A simply gorgeous and remarkable documentary about a lone lioness trying to survive and raise her cubs. Why she was not part of a pride of lions at the beginning of the story is never explained, but she is expelled from her territory by a large and aggressive pride, and must go to a island inside a river teaming with crocodiles, hippos, water buffalo, and other dangerous animals.

I don't want to "give away" the plot...this documentary DOES have a plot and one as riveting as any really good movie could be. Filmed by the husband and wife team of wildlife filmmakers, the Jouberts, scenes of real life in Africa unroll with beauty, cruelty, and intensity. As always, their documentaries seem to "get" the feel of wild Africa as if they were part of it, living and experiencing it.

I would not recommend it for young or very sensitive children/adults since the brutality of the real-life world of lions trying to survive is nothing like a Disney movie....but the "main character", the lone lioness, is one you will remember long after seeing this top quality documentary.

The background music, African in nature, is lovely, and Jeremy Irons does a good job narrating. I truly can't believe this was not up for some documentary award, it is, in my opinion, that worthwhile and well done.

Highly recommended as are any of the Jouberts' films for National Geographic.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Film Contains the Heart of a Lioness December 19, 2011
Think about the phrase when describing someone who has "the heart of a lion". In The Last Lions, Beverly and Dereck Joubert aim to demonstrate this phrase, in the form of a quasi-documentary film.

The film is not quite objective in flavor as a real documentary, but is still filled with facts and observations from the eyes of the Jouberts. The very scientific types (as well as those who believe animals are beneath humans) may completely dismiss the film due to its anthropomorphic nature, but I believe this one should not be completely dismissed. You may ask, why not? The film is filled with details and observations that are telling; the award-winning duo, the Jouberts, have dedicated their entire lives to the study and preservation of cats. They have braved the volatile weather and forgone daily comforts to catch even a glimpse into the lives of these creatures. Their observations are detailed here, and narrated by Jeremy Irons using deeply sonorous tones evocative of the warm, rich colors of the film.

You are thrust head first into an intimate acquaintance with Ma Di Tau, the main lioness. A little background information- Lions have a unique social structure- they group in prides, and are comprised of a single male and several females. The females hunt, and the males have to secure their lands, often against other male lions. When a male challenges another, the male either stands down (and is driven off), or fights. If the other male wins, it is in their instinct to kill any cubs from the previous male. Another option is for the female to take her cubs and run, hopefully joining another pride. This social structure places the female lions of prides with unstable factors (weak males, encroaching humans, etc) in particularly difficult situations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Wildlife photographers and documentarians Beverly and Dereck Joubert created the Big Cats Initiative with National Geographic to educate people about the declining populations of large felines in the wild and, hopefully, to save them from extinction. "The Last Lions" is part of that effort. The film follows the daily life and struggles of a lioness and her cubs in Botswana's Okavango Delta. Fifty years ago, there were about 450,000 lions in Africa. Now there are an estimated 20,000. It is the filmmakers' hope that giving people an intimate view of these animals, in a narrative form, will inspire the audience to want to protect them.

The filmmakers call the lioness Ma di Tau (Mother of Lions), and actor Jeremy Irons narrates her story. Ma di Tau has a mate and three cubs but is forced to flee her home territory across a perilous river, when another pride of lions in search of new territory invade hers. She and her cubs take refuge on Duba Island, in the middle of a swampy river. When a herd of buffalo take up residence, it's not clear whether they will be dinner or a new menace. And a lioness with whom Ma di Tau did battle still looms threateningly on the other side of the river with her following of females, seemingly not content to let Ma di Tau and her cubs alone.

What is interesting about this film is also what is likely to be controversial. Ma di Tau's fight for survival for herself and her cubs is turned into high drama, which it is, but is also imbued with emotions and particular motivations via the narration. I'm not entirely against this. Emotions are not unique to humans. Countless species experienced them before humans existed. I don't think the film overplays the emotions, but I was sometimes doubtful of the motives it attributed to Ma di Tau.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Horst Endlich
5.0 out of 5 stars ★★★★★
All time favorite a mother's survival for her younga story that will capture everyone's heart
Published 13 days ago by ELIZABETH LUIS
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story a little sad in some parts but the ending was good.
Published 18 days ago by Andrew Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing!
I've never cried, cheered, laughed, and screamed at the TV (maybe even in that order) all over a National Geographic movie! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jennifer Facenda
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous film!
The rare and close footage of this film is nothing short of spectacular. Besides telling a story of a lioness surviving her cubs, the film also depicts the strengths as well as the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JPX925
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I have given a one star rating, due to the fact that I had to download a De-coder on my computer just to watch it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Haupai Jane Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray Disc, Nature Movie
This was a good documentary of lions in the wild. The video shows the hardship of young lions especially in their struggle to grow to maturity.
Published 3 months ago by Keith V. Weigel
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
Great movie even though some of the footage was from loins vs hyeans circa 1993.......great audio and well documented otherwise
Published 3 months ago by taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best animal documentaries you will ever see
I saw this during Big Cat week on Nat Geo Wild and was I ever so glad I did. This riveting tale follows a lioness and her three cubs after they have been ousted from a pride. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tesla
5.0 out of 5 stars A very emotional and important documentary
This documentary is narrated by Jeremy Irons who voiced Scar in Disney's ''The Lion King''. The film is a true story about a female lion named Ma Di Tau who must protect her cubs... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Fuwwyfootpaws
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