Capably assembled by Robin Brown, film combines informal aspects of amateur film with the professionalism that comes with fame, money and showbiz experience.
TX:One difference between the Cronyns’ home movies and most people’s is that the acting couple engaged the services of Simon Trevor, a former game warden, to hold the camera on their first trip.
TX:Filmed in Africa by Bioscope Prods. in association with theNational Wildlife Federation and the Disney Channel. Executive producer, Christopher N. Palmer; supervising producer, David Clark; producers, Heather Wynne Lowe, Robin Brown; director, script, Brown; Trevor, Cronyn notes, went on to work in films including “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Out of Africa.” Also, fortunately, Jessica Tandy had her recollections of the trip filmed a month before her death from cancer in September 1994. Ten months later, on Cronyn’s 84th birthday, he and their daughter returned to see what had transpired in the years since the couple’s visit.
Western ways had reached the local Masai tribe, whose dwellings no longer resembled a shanty town. Herds of cattle had increased in size, rhinoceros and elephant herds had been decimated by poachers, and disease had severely cut the population of lions.
There’s good news, Hume and Tandy Cronyn discovered, while visiting several game preserves. Where herds estimated at 50,000 elephants on the Tsavo National Park (the size, we’re told, of Israel) had fallen to as few as 7,300, government action against the ivory trade has resulted, according to conservationist Dr. Iain Douglas Hamilton. Likewise, the near-extinct black rhino is returning to the area. Richard Leakey, former head of the Kenya Wildlife Service, adds his own analysis.
All three Cronyns contribute to the narration, which reads as a love story among the family, as well as of the acting dynasty, with Africa.