The Lions

a film by Jean-Frédéric de Hasque

90 min colour, HD.
fr - eng subtitled

"The Beninese Lions Club is about to receive a visit from a senior official who comes to check on the smooth running of the 30 clubs in the country. The camera is at the side of the man they call "the Governor" and follows him on his car journeys and into the meetings he leads. These meetings all follow the same unchanging ritual: the Lions sing the anthem and he checks that the attendance is good and that the accounts and membership fees are being kept. Lions Clubs have been present on the continent since the 1950s and the enthusiasm of new members means that those in charge can now hope for the independence of the African branch in 2020. There are 1,300 members in Benin and membership is growing in this model country for the African branch of the association. The members move through the country with ease, looking out over the desolate landscape with no apparent regard for the people, but the film also shows them engaged in bureaucratic tasks that show the quality of the organisation and deconstruct the idea of an Africa based solely on 'system D' and muddling through."

"This 5th film by JF de Hasque, made at the same time as a thesis in anthropology on the subject, shows the point of view of a "bourgeois and private" association that becomes political by constituting a liberal pan-Africanism. The expansion and growth of membership led by this elite circle reveals an unprecedented facet of the "wealthy Africans" who want to be 30,000 members by 2020 so that they can "decide for themselves", i.e. no longer depend on the US headquarters, write their own amendments to the bylaws and decide on the allocation of budgets for charity work." Anne Feuillère in Nova Cinema Magazine

camera & directing : Jean-Frédéric de Hasque
editing : Frédéric Fichefet
music : Rachid Moro- Airem
production : Michigan Films, CBA, Savage Prod., Rien à Voir



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