IN THE BLOOD
In The Blood is a pro-hunting documentary that,
in the guise of conservation, glamorizes big game hunting in Africa. In the
film, ancestors of President Teddy Roosevelt, including Teddy Roosevelt V, and
ardent admirers of the late President follow the route Roosevelt took as a big
game hunter in Kenya. They relive his adventures in every detail, including
using his guns in their hunt.
The film is wrought with contradictions between words and actions. The hunters
speak of their love for animals as being the underlying reason they started to
hunt. One hunter even describes hunting as very sensual--a time of great
closeness between the hunted and the hunter. The hunters all speak of the
horrors of poaching and at one point in the movie capture some poachers and have
them arrested. They reason that hunting is important for the economy of the area
and if it were ever stopped that poaching would increase. There was even a
discussion around a campfire one night as to the pros and cons of whether they
should search out and kill a crocodile on the following day or in fact if any
animal should be killed at all.
In spite of the discussions of their love for animals and their philosophical
discussions on the pros and cons of hunting, dozens of animals were brutally
killed in the making of In The Blood. Dozens of birds were shot, many falling to
the ground still alive. Many water buffalo were killed--not always quickly.
Throughout the re-creation of Roosevelt's safari, the young people in the group
were being taught how to hunt.
In the closing scene, the director's son, Tyssen Butler, did his first big kill.
He shot a water buffalo three times. In an attempt to escape, the buffalo ran as
long as it could with the hunting party chasing it, until it became so tired
that it could not walk anymore. As the animal stood in total exhaustion, Butler
shot it two more times and it dropped dead. Upon approaching this magnificent
animal, the young man shed a few tears, at which point the men who were teaching
Butler how to kill praised him for having done a great thing. They then slit the
buffalo's throat, put their hands in its blood and covered Butler's face with
it. In the end, they convinced the young man that he had done a wonderful thing.
He proclaimed he would continue to hunt and that he would teach his children to
This is a film that will totally disgust anyone who cares about sentient
creatures. The American Humane Association is opposed to the hunting of any
living creature for fun, a trophy, or for simple sport. Because this was a
documentary, American Humane Association was not involved during the filming.