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Channel 4 – Virginia McKenna’s Born Free (2016)

Ch4 Virginia McKennas Born Free

Actress Virginia McKenna returns to Africa to retrace the steps she took when making the memorable 1966 film Born Free. The beloved film told the story of how Elsa the lion cub was reared by human hand, before being given her freedom. For nine months, Virginia and her late husband Bill Travers lived and worked with wild lions in Kenya, creating a movie that would not only change the lives of its cast but how the world viewed animals in the wild. But 50 years ago, with no CGI, and no stunt doubles, how was filming in such close contact with lions possible? How was the film made? Virginia revisits the locations that meant so much to her and reveals not only how she earned the trust of lions, but nearly lost that of the film’s producers. There is also an interview with Don Black, writer of the classic Born free song, and astonishing footage showing the handover of Britain’s imperial power as Kenya gained its independence.

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