IT’S one of the most controversial documentaries you will ever see and even the filmmaker admits to feeling a bit guilty about it.

And the intriguing question is: why would a committed vegan from Caithness even want to make a film about big-game hunting? Especially when there has been worldwide public outrage over the slaughter of Cecil the lion?

The National:

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The End of the Game not only sees David Graham Scott go on a big-game hunt with old colonialist Guy Wallace, it shows the bloody result.

Scott is now preparing himself for the metaphorical fur to fly when the film receives its world premiere at Glasgow Film Festival.

“Guy is an anachronism stuck in the British colonial past and some people might object because I have given him the time of day,” he told The National.

“I am not pandering to him although some people might misread the film and think that somehow I back big-game hunting because there is an element of complicity through me going round with the camera. Although I do tell him that some of his viewpoints are out of date and frankly a bit racist.

“It is a controversial film but I think people will be fascinated by it. They can expect some fireworks and it is funny in places.”

WHY DID HE MAKE IT?

THE idea for the documentary came about eight years ago when Scott was making a short film on a hunting estate in Caithness and came across the eccentric Wallace, a walking relic from the colonial past.

Now living in a decrepit caravan on the estate where he communicates with his pet parrot in Swahili, Wallace talks as if the British Empire still reigns. In the past, he patrolled with the King’s African Rifles, spent time as a mercenary and became a tracker for big-game hunters in Kenya and Tanzania. He name-drops places like Khartoum and Omdurman, where he saw action, as if he’d been around since the 19th century.

The National:

Despite his shabby surroundings, Wallace is determined to head for South Africa to bag his final trophy: the formidable Cape buffalo.

Scott decides to go with him and their oddball relationship is the central drive of the film as the director explores the morals of big-game hunting and even questions his own animal rights stance when lured in by the thrill of the hunt.

WAS IT DANGEROUS?

MAKING the film was a risky business as most of the time it was just Scott with his camera, Wallace and a professional hunter – a Bear Grylls-type Afrikaner.

At one point they were surprised by a marauding rhino and at another narrowly escaped being trampled by an elephant.

Scott, who reckons he was probably the first person in Caithness to give up meat, having done so in the 70s, was well out of his comfort zone.

“In the African bush you can’t see much further than a few yards in front of you as it is intense scrubland and things sometimes come jumping out of nowhere,” he said.

The National:

“The End of the Game is raw because I go out myself to film it and it is a thousand times more dangerous than any reality show you will see on TV.

“There’s a lot of irony in the film. I don’t set out to make a fool of Guy and I look as much of a fool as anyone because I don’t know anything about hunting and end up blundering about stupidly.”

WAS IT A LION HUNT?

While they were filming, Cecil was shot, causing worldwide outrage against big-game hunting, with even Wallace disapproving of the way the animal was killed.

Scott pointed out that the buffalo that Wallace is hunting is an old, gnarly creature which is not from an endangered species.

“At least it has had a life and has not been intensively factory farmed. I still feel very strongly about big-game hunting but it is not just black and white,” said Scott.

The National:

“The film will probably be torn apart by many people but there are levels to it. It’s an old man in decline and the end of the age of empire.”

Despite his occasional racist comments and a tendency to be belligerent, Scott was surprised to find he got on with Wallace reasonably well.

“If you are making a film like this you do have to somehow gel with the other guys,” he explained. “Guy does say a few racist words and a lot of people are going to find that offensive. I do pull him up about it but I am not a very confrontational sort of person.”

ARE THERE GOOD POINTS?

THE film begins with Wallace shouting at the director and ends the same way but Scott found a tender side to him.

“A lot of it is old army talk and bluster but there is a real softness there and he has an incredible sense of humour,” said Scott. “He’s a mix as many people are. In fact I’ve met a few vegans I like less as they are just too militant.

“He does have a meltdown moment when he has been drinking and gets quite melancholic thinking about his life. He doesn’t want to end up in an old folks’ home and says he would rather blow his brains out.

“It’s actually pretty hard to believe a man like him exists in this day and age.

“He is a cliché of a big-game hunter.”

Wallace is expected to attend the premiere to be held at CCA.

“I think there will be vegans and big game hunters at the premiere which should be interesting,” said Scott. The premiere of The End of the Game is on February 20 and 21 at the CCA.

Tickets are available from the GFF website by clicking this link.