Man & Nature Living Harmoniously Together
Having recently finished watching Seven Worlds One Planet, now seemed like a pretty good time to jump back into the beauty of the Serengeti for the upcoming release of The White Maasai Warrior. Educational, well-paced and full of beautiful imagery, this interesting documentary film follows filmmaker Benjamin Eicher, a man intent on becoming the first person to undergo the rituals to become a maasai warrior.
Across the 75 minute run-time, the documentary does well to show the initiation rights and various day to day tribulations of this mysterious tribe, one that have a great thirst for life and appreciation for nature. The film begins with Benjamin narrating about the area itself before meeting the tribe and beginning his training. Here, he follows their lead as they show what life is like living as they do, and the fly-on-the-wall camera crew follow their every move.
There are some nice themes and ideas here around protecting nature and preserving species and this absolutely shines through the entire film’s length. There’s some wonderful scenes involving cheetahs and rhinos and these moments are arguably the strongest of the entire film. It also ties in nicely with the ideals shared by the tribal warriors and this harmonic balance works as both an educational piece, and also one that reinforces the effect humankind is having on our natural world.
Visually, the documentary looks great and there’s some wonderful shots of wildlife here that’s balanced nicely by Benjamin and the other tribal warriors as they go about their day to day routine. Having said that, some of the aesthetic choices are a little questionable. The red on-screen text for the opening credits feels a little jarring whilst the voice over oftentimes cuts in over the top of Benjamin talking to the tribes which feels oddly placed. Personally, I’d have preferred subtitles during these segments, especially given that Benjamin addresses the camera directly and the voice-over narrates something different to what Benjamin is actually saying.
Having said all of that, The White Maasai Warrior is an educational and interesting documentary film, one that works well to showcase the lives of this tribe whilst paying tribute to the wildlife that lives in tandem with them. It may not be the glossiest documentary out there and it does have a few stylistic issues throughout but if you can look beyond that, there’s enough here to make for a really enjoyable watch, one I’d definitely recommend checking out if you’re interested in finding out more about how warrior tribes live.
Verdict - 7/10