Ossus Library Index Non-Fiction Movie Index

WOLVES

Directed by David Douglas (1998, Primesco Corporation)
Narrated by Robbie Robertson

A documentation of the reintroduction of wolves into the Idaho Rockies.

 

 

3+ stars

January 8th, 2000 on the Omnimax dome.

 
   

When a commercial came on for Algonquin Wolves, a research and restoration program in Ontario, I got worried.  This was not the movie I thought I was seeing.  The film quality was grainy, and the size was not IMAX.

But I was relieved when the actual film came on. 

I felt that the film tried to do too much.  It focused on the reintroduction efforts, the native ways of life, the effect of the wolves on the environment, education programs, but each one had only a couple of minutes before we went on to the next.

I know more about the reintroduction efforts, myself.  The film didn't even bring viewers up to what I know from reading one article in Canadian Wildlife magazine.  They could have shown the actual reintroduction from Canada.  They could have shown the almost-failed first try. 

Instead, we sat through native dances, and a classroom talking about wolves.  Neither is bad by itself, but I thought if wolves had been present during either scene, it would have been more interesting. 

It did have some really neat parts, though.  Showing the wolves hunting was really exciting, even if they didn't bring down their prey.  But these were tundra wolves, so they weren't even related to the pack in the rockies.  The female searching for a den was neat, and it was great to see the family working together to raise the cubs. 

I just wish we could have seen more of these.  A successful hunt, maybe.  More family life -teaching the cubs to hunt.  I remember seeing a film about a polar bear family in the Nature Museum in Ottawa, which showed a mother and her two cubs.  The film ran about 15 minutes, and showed her go into hibernation, give birth and leave her den, fight off a male, and play with her cubs.  Something of that sort would have added so much to the film. 

The soundtrack, on the other hand, was terrific.  Made up on almost entirely native instruments and styles, it was the perfect backdrop for the wolves.

But I thought the film itself could have done more.

 
   

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