A Lion’s Trail

Director: François Verster
Country: South Africa
Year: 2002
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: Afrikaans, English, and Zulu

A Lion's Trail-2

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is one of the most recognizable pop songs in the world. But how many people realize that this American hit tune was actually written by Solomon Linda, a Zulu musician who never earned a cent in royalties and died in poverty? Directed by award-winning filmmaker François Verster, A Lion’s Trail traces the music back to its original source, telling the story of how the Zulu song “Mbube” was transcribed by American folk singer Pete Seeger into “Wimoweh,” finally gaining international recognition as “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

About the Director

François Verster

Biography: François Verster, a South African director, has been working successfully in film for the last 10 years, winning several international prizes. Verster was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on February 12, 1969. Verster has a wide background in writing, music, academia and film. After studying in Cape Town he worked with Barenholtz Productions in New York and on the crew of various independent features. In 1998 Verster formed Undercurrent Film and Television, a Cape Town-based company that aims to produce quality documentary programs for local as well as international markets. Its projects deal primarily with human issues, and take innovative (and usually character-led) approaches to social and historical concerns.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
A Lion’s Trail (2004);
The Mother’s House (2006).

Filmography:
Pavement Aristocrats (1998);
The Story of “Mbube” (1999);
The Man who would kill Kitchener (1999);
The Granite War (2000);
Guilty (2001);
A Lion’s Trail (2002);
When the War is Over (2002);
The Mother’s House (2005);
Sea Point Days (2008).