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Parents' Guide to

The White Maasai Warrior

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Informative docu has some nature violence.

Movie NR 2019 83 minutes
The White Maasai Warrior Poster Image

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It almost goes without saying that, by its very premise, this an interesting documentary. The first white man being invited to join the Maasai warriors and to live as they do -- of course this is going to be inherently worthwhile. It's perhaps just as much of an overview of the Maasai culture as anything else. We learn how they prefer play over battle, how they don't eat wild animals, how they perceive time. There are also some humorous moments -- a medicine man expected to say something mystical instead says that he wants a beer. Benjamin Eicher, the documentarian who has been invited to join the Maasai, faces the limits of his bravery in the wild and opts to ride in the jeep in one scene when faced with lurking danger in the form of fast carnivorous predators lurking in the trees.

If there's any overarching problem with The White Maasai Warrior, it's that this overview tends to supersede deeper introspection. One of the reasons the Maasai invite Eicher to join them is so that the world can see how they live, as they fear that their isolated way of life is starting to vanish. We get this overview in abundance, but relatively little about what it means to both the "White Maasai Warrior" and the world at large. There's a lingering sense that the documentary needs more than a change from a suit and tie to warrior's garb and the drinking of sheep's blood. It's interesting on its own merits, but there's a lingering sense that there should be more than what's presented.

Movie Details

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