WOLF TOTEM depicts the dying culture of the Mongols.

And parallel extinction of the animal they believe to be sacred. A must watch film while you are on a #StayAtHome order.

The following is a review of the film WOLF TOTEM

A New York Times review By Ben KenigsbergIn “Wolf Totem,” the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, no stranger to animals (“The Bear”) or turbulent Chinese history (“Seven Years in Tibet”), adapts a novel that grew into a controversial phenomenon in China. The book, written by a Beijing professor, Lu Jiamin, under the pseudonym Jiang Rong, was second in circulation only to Mao’s little red book, according to a 2008 review in The New York Times.

The novel was received as a critique of Chinese modernization and environmental policies. The film, a Chinese production, reaches the screen with at least some sensitive material omitted. Characters seem carved from a much larger narrative. The landscape and painstakingly trained wolves are the true stars.

A still from “Wolf Totem.”Columbia Pictures

The story concerns Chen Zhen (Feng Shaofeng), a student who travels from Beijing to Inner Mongolia to teach during the Cultural Revolution. Entranced with the wolves there — whose behavior inspired Genghis Khan, the village leader tells him — Chen Zhen adopts a cub and raises it, sparing it from the orders of his superior, who wants the wolves culled.

In its tale of an outsider acclimating to a vanishing way of life, “Wolf Totem” sometimes recalls another sentimental wolf movie (the one in which Kevin Costner dances with them). But the work with actual animals offers an increasingly rare pleasure. Mr. Annaud makes subtle use of 3-D to highlight the crags and grasslands, aided by a swirling score from James Horner, who died in June.

Wolf Totem Movie Poster

The wolves were trained by Instinct Animals for Film WE ARE A TOP SUPPLIER OF TRAINED ANIMAL TALENT FOR THE FILM AND TELEVISION INDUSTRY. WITH OVER 20 YEARS’ EXPERIENCE, WE UNDERSTAND TIME IS MONEY. WE ALSO UNDERSTAND ANIMAL BEHAVIOR AND THE NUANCED PRESSURES OF FILM MAKING.INSTINCT HELPS YOU BRING THE CAPTIVATING NATURE OF ANIMALS TO THE SCREEN.ABOUT THE INSTINCT EXPERIENCE https://instinctforfilm.com/

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Rachel Tilseth

Rachel Tilseth iIn 2011 I went from tracking the wolf to advocating for them and found myself within an advocacy network that went against my values. I am tenacious by nature, and passionate about the grey wolves I got to know through tracking them. But I found myself within a system of wolf-advocacy that wasnt for me. I am am artist and writer first and foremost. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

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