White Lions, Bennie’s way

an ongoing film project Jean-Frédéric de Hasque
produced by Rien à Voir, funded by Fond National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS)
2022 -50 minutes

Since the film "The Lions", which ended with the image of a cake in the shape of the African continent, it has finally become the 8th geographical area within the Lions Club. This has been the fervent wish of African members since the 1990s. And, it is a symbolic and political victory for the great black leaders who in 2015 were still sharing only one cake. But in the far south of the continent, those who were the most numerous Lions of Africa for decades, do not see the point of this "area" and do not think it is viable. They say it is "raising a barrier to the rest of the world in the age of globalisation". For them, the predominantly white Lions whose membership has dropped from 4,000 to 2,000, the takeover by black Lions is frightening and calls into question their contribution and skills, often praised by the Chicago-based Board of Directors. These "old" Lions and their descendants, who are forty-somethings well anchored in the association, are asking themselves questions reminiscent of the anxieties of the settlers of the 1950s: who will manage the country, who will maintain their dearly built heritage?
Jean-Frédéric de Hasque follows Bennie, a District Governor of the South African Lions Club who controls the philanthropic work carried out by the Namibian clubs under his jurisdiction. The 'works' as the community service projects are called reflect the intentions and relationships of the clubs as they cater for a white, affluent but elderly population, or a poor, young, black community. The sense that the club is becoming a sanctuary and refuge for a minority, affluent fringe is gradually emerging.

image & directing — Jean-Frédéric de Hasque
editing in progress

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