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Africa culture/tradition education folklore lifestyle Nature Pastoral

Movie: The Ghost and the Darkness

As we observe our social distancing, I started seeing old favourite movies. I remember this historic film back in the days. Trust me, this is a thriller you will enjoy. Plot from Wikipedia.

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Plot: In 1898, Sir Robert Beaumont, the primary financier of a railroad project in Tsavo, Kenya, is furious because the project is running behind schedule. He seeks out the expertise of Lt. Colonel John Henry Patterson, a British military engineer, to get the project back on track. Patterson travels from England to Tsavo, telling his wife, Helena, he will complete the project and be back in London for the birth of their son. He meets British supervisor Angus Starling, Kenyan foreman Samuel, and Doctor David Hawthorne. Hawthorne tells Patterson of a recent lion attack that has affected the project.

That night, Patterson kills an approaching lion with one shot, earning the respect of the workers and bringing the project back on schedule. However, not long afterwards, Mahina, the construction foreman, is dragged from his tent in the middle of the night. His half-eaten body is found the next morning. Patterson then attempts a second night-time lion hunt, but the following morning, another worker is found dead at the opposite end of the camp from Patterson’s position.

Patterson’s only comfort now is the letters he receives from his wife. Soon, while the workers are gathering wood and building fire pits around the tents, a lion attacks the camp in the middle of the day, killing another worker. While Patterson, Starling and Samuel are tracking it to one end of the camp, another lion leaps upon them from the roof of a building, killing Starling with a slash to the throat and injuring Patterson on the left arm. Despite the latter’s efforts to kill them, both lions escape. Samuel states that there has never been a pair of man-eaters; they have always been solitary hunters.

The workers, led by Abdullah, begin to turn on Patterson. Work on the bridge comes to a halt. Patterson requests soldiers from England to protect the workers, but is denied. During a visit to the camp, Beaumont tells Patterson that he will ruin his reputation if the bridge is not finished on time and that he will contact the famous hunter Charles Remington to help because Patterson has been unable to kill the animals.

Remington arrives with skilled Maasai warriors to help kill the lions. They dub the lions “the Ghost” and “the Darkness” because of their notorious methods of attack. The initial attempt fails when Patterson’s borrowed gun misfires. The warriors decide to leave, but Remington stays behind. He constructs a new hospital for sick and injured workers and tempts the lions to the abandoned building with animal parts and blood. When the lions seemingly fall for the trap, Remington and Patterson shoot at them; but they flee and attack the new hospital, killing many patients and Hawthorne.

Abdullah and the construction men leave, and only Patterson, Remington, and Samuel remain behind. Patterson and Remington locate the animals’ lair, discovering the bones of dozens of the lions’ victims. That night, Remington kills one of the pair by using Patterson and a baboon as bait. The three hunters spend the evening drinking and celebrating but the next morning, Patterson awakes to find that the remaining lion has slaughtered Remington as he and Samuel slept. After the two men cremate Remington, they burn the tall grass surrounding the camp, driving the surviving lion toward the camp and the ambush that they set there. The lion attacks them on the partially constructed bridge, and after a lengthy fight Patterson finally kills it. Abdullah and the construction workers return, and the bridge is completed on time. Patterson reunites with his wife and meets his son for the first time.

Characters:

By Oke Iroegbu

Finance Graduate, Bibliophile and Bard of Ovim, his homeland. Read more at www.oiroegbu.com/about

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