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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Born Free

..and why it has remained my favorite for years now.

The movie is based on the best selling book penned down by Joy Adamson, about her self, her game warden husband, George Adamson and an orphaned lioness cub, Elsa in Kenya.
When George has to shoot a man eating lion and its mate, he discovers that they had three lioness cubs which he brings back to his wife. They raise the cubs until they are big enough to be shipped to a zoo. But the smallest of the litter finds a mother in Joy who feeds her the best bits because she can not fight to have a fair share of her meal.
On Joy's insistence, George let Elsa- Joy's favorite- live with them until the mating calls of a lion tells her there is a life beyond what she is living with Joy and George.
Other perils in the form of game -hunters surface when one of them mistakes Elsa resting on a tree as a wild lioness and is about to shoot her but is stopped from doing so by someone who recognizes her collar.
Joy's aversion to sending Elsa away to a zoo confronts them with a new challenge: to train a lioness to survive in the wild who has been tamed to become a house-cat and who considers hunting only as a sport. A hilarious episode where she is chased away by a wild boar evinces the fact that she is yet to learn the rules of the jungle.
Elsa is left behind on several occasions to be allowed to adjust to her natural habitat but each time she returns injured. Eventually the patience pays and Elsa realizes what is expected of her and learns to hunt.
Born free is an extraordinary adventure of a lioness born in the wild and how she learns to be the "pride' of her race.

The book was targeted for pre-teen readers and I still remember vaguely the first time I had watched the movie as a kid.
But it has been a joyful experience to live over and over again and is probably one of the best of my home video collection.

Trivia :

#Elsa's grave is located in Meru National Park, Kenya.

#The making of the film was a life-changing experience for actors Virginia McKenna and her husband Bill Travers who became animal rights activists and were instrumental in creating the Born Free Foundation.

# They are survived by their son Will Travers and you can visit his blog here


saikat said...

have you ever seen a baby's eyes..
innocent... unfazed by the haloed mystery

have you ever heard her chuckle
unfazed by the past.. slipping away history

she is born with a freedom which cant be caged by me or thee...

she is filled with an innocence which screams across 'am born free'

passer by said...

hmm ..nice piece of writing..should read the book smtime

sudipto said...

that was really one of the all time greatest..!! i really wonder how they shot the movie with the wilds and that also so impeccable..!!

Aparna Kar said...

but it's a pity that most tv channels down play it. It should be aired more often

Oh btw, here are the lyrics of the Oscar-winning title song from the film. John Barry also won an Oscar for original soundtrack.
Charted in 1966 at # 7 by Roger Williams and # 35 by Matt Monro
Soul version by the Hesitations hit #38 in 1968

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free

sudipto said...

the last part i like the most when Elsa comes with her family to see George and Joy...!!i dont know whether those wild animals have those kind of emotions or not...but it was beautiful....!!

Aparna Kar said...

@ sudipto

Sometimes I feel " those wild animals " have more emotions than human beings. And the more I see life, the more I believe it.
I'd give anything to live in the wilderness with the seemingly untamed than with the so called "civilized ".

sudipto said...

may be that's bcoz they dont know how to hurt somebody or how to betray....they are far more safe in that way.....!!!!!!

How do we know said...

i soo agree.. that book was awesome, and for once, the film was even better.. to the extent that it brought alive photographs from the film!! Thanks for this post!

Ruchika said...

Awww... I loved that movie!! Havent seen it in yrs, but in school we used to love seeing it over and over again... and the sequel "Living Free" too... I love the relationship between Elsa and the family... can't believe its a lion they are talking about! Hehehe... Nice trivia.. I had no idea about Elsa's grave!