A film by Jean-Jacques Annaud
Cast: Shaofeng Feng, Shawn Dou, Ankhnyam Rachaa
English title: Wolf Totem
1969. Chen Zhen, a young student from Beijing, was sent to Mongolia to educate a tribe of nomadic herders to teach their children how to read and write Chinese. But it was really Chen, who has much to learn – about life in this infinite land, hostile and vertiginous on the notion of community, freedom and responsibility, and the most feared and hated creature of the steppes – the wolf . Seduced by the complex relationship between these almost mystical and sacred creatures he captures a Cub to tame it. But the budding relationship between humans and animals – and the traditional lifestyle of the tribe, and the future of the earth itself – is threatened when an officer of the central government decides by all means remove wolves in this region. well remove the cubs. Kill them in the spring.
Bare with me on this one this is my first film of Jean-Jacques Annaud. He has don films with animals before this is not the first one. This film is autobiographical from the book the totem Wolf the #1 best seller in China. This was a difficult film to make It took many years of preparation for this film, especially to raise the wolves and the whole management of the animals, including wild wolves and therefore difficult to train. Filming required “480 technicians, 200 horses , nearly a thousand sheep, 25 wolves, and fifties trainers . Let’s not forget the training of the armed guard and training the actors to be farmers. The two actors who play the students were professional actors the rest were the farmers and people who lived in Mongolia off the land. None of the animal were hurt some animals were CGI of course drone has to be used not to spook the animal instead of helicopters. Some crew members, trainers and others got scratches on their faces from the Wolf but that is about it. Here is the thing The Mongols lives off the land the story took place in the late 60’s , they have sheep to protect from the wolves. They try to contain the population of wolves by killing the cubs in the spring. This is the story of a student who took a cub and raise it. The problem it is hard to raise a cub it needs to be in the wild were it belong. It needs to learn how to hunt and feed himself. Zhen capture one but did not know it comes with consequences. Wolf and men are not compatible. He got attach to it too much. The story revolves around the relationship about him and the cub plus the moguls. Human relationship are hard enough you through in there I am going to raise a cub wolf in the mixed you are going to have conflict. Great story there plus the cinematography is out of this world. Dam that is a beautiful country. It is an interesting film, the story moves along just fine. the shot at night are beautiful as well. We are stepping on the animal’s paws sort of speak they were there first we keep on taking the land to build houses and shopping mall. they retrieve and then what.