A “superpower” is stalking the wilderness between Mali and Niger. The African hunters have a nickname for the enormous lion dominating the vast bush: “The American.” Director Jean Rouch introduces us to five lion hunters as they undertake ritual preparations for the hunt. Bows and arrows are crafted in the traditional way – to collect the poison for their arrowheads, once every four years they make a 500-kilometer (310-mile) journey on foot – and traps are expertly set in The American’s territory. After quite a few disappointing false alarms including a jackal, a hyena and a viverra, the day finally arrives when The American’s cub falls into one of the traps. The animal’s father isn’t amusedand declares war on the hunters. Who will win? Frenchman Jean Rouch first set foot in Africa in 1941 as a colonial hydraulic engineer. He became fascinated by the continent and after World War II made countless anthropological films, devoting great attention to the population and its rituals. His reportage approach to filmmaking made Rouch one of the major founders of cinema verité. You would be hard-pressed to find much colonial frame of reference at all in . Instead, the film bursts with journalistic curiosity and a deep affection for Africa. This is most movingly felt when Rouch joins in on the rhythmic hunting song "Gawey-Gawey" in voice-over.