Filmed / Directed / Written / Edited by Kire Godal
Sound by Mike Moller, Produced by Kire Godal & Erik Godal, Music by Erik Godal, Original Godal Productions

"Wednesday night’s program, picks up this thread in a unique way which underscores the uncertain future of Africa’s big cats. Wildlife documentaries often present animals from such a close-up and narrow perspective that we don’t realize how close and pervasive the surrounding human presence is. Lions and leopards are rulers of the truly wild parts of Africa, right? Not really. Lion Warriors documents the tension felt between one group of Kenya’s Maasai people and the country’s dwindling lion population.

Hunting and successfully slaying a lion is an important rite of passage for young Maasai men, and brutal retaliation against lions which kill Maasai livestock is common, but this has been going on so long that the last few lions are being threatened with extirpation. Something has to change, but how can we ensure the survival of the Maasai, their cultural traditions, and the lions themselves? The subtlety of this documentary was what struck me most. Young Maasai men in traditional garb, boasting about what they are going to do to a lion which attacked some livestock overnight, spread the latest gossip over their cell phones. Ancient cultural traditions, modern technology, and conservation interests are all intersecting and mapping the future of the world’s most iconic cat. Lion Warriors is easily the best program of Big Cat Week."

Big Cat Week on Nat Geo Wild -

"And Wednesday night’s film, “Lion Warriors,” examines the push and pull between efforts to protect Kenya’s lions and the traditions of the Maasai, who have built lion hunting into a ritual-filled symbol of manhood (though one with a practical side: lions kill livestock). This interesting film, by Kire Godal, captures an awkward cultural moment, as spear-throwing hunter-warriors are being asked, improbably, to turn into conservationists."


On the Great Plains below Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya, lions are attacking Maasai cattle, as they have for hundreds of years. And the proud Maasai warriors have hunted them ruthlessly in return so that now only about 2,000 remain in the country. If their numbers drop any lower, their populations will not be sustainable. Now the Maasai elders and chiefs are recognizing that the threat to their lions is also a threat to their way of life, and have forbidden the warriors from hunting them. Wildlife filmmaker Kire Godal, with the support of executive producers Dereck and Beverly Joubert, captures firsthand the struggle of these modern-day warriors who are reinventing their traditions to help save the lions they once prided themselves on killing.