In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Caught between the advance of civilization from the south and the nomads' traditional enemies - the marauding wolves - to the north; humans and animals, residents and invaders alike, struggle to find their true place in the world.Written by
It saddens me that this film will not receive a wider audience. With an English title of "Wolf Totem" very few outside of France or China will be tempted to see it, but it is their loss.
Wolf Totem manages to bring to the big screen the majesty and mystery of wolves. But it is much more than a National Geographic or Animal Planet documentary. (Although those in themselves would be a great success.) It also invites us into the world of Inner Mongolia and tells a compelling tale of human love and loss. This is not Le Renard et L'infant (The Fox and the Child). It succeeds in telling a much grander tale. The acting is all very believable and unlike the usual over-the-top soap opera-esque fare available in most Chinese cinema.
But come for the wolves. I could howl their praises all night long.
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