“True Wolf” the new feature documentary directed by Missoula’s own award-winning filmmaker, Rob Whitehair, has been picked up for national theatrical release and will make its Montana premiere at the Wilma in Missoula this Friday, June 29 at 7pm.
Missoula’s Quality Rock station, The Trail 103.3 is sponsoring the film’s debut and will host a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening.
Honey, Get the Wolf Off the Couch! Koani, an abandoned wolf pup is adopted by Hamilton, MT couple, Bruce Weide and Pat Tucker who learn by trial and error how to live with her.
They don’t believe that she should be a pet….she’s a wild animal after all! …so, they work out a plan to give her life purpose. Koani becomes an ambassador for her wild cousins and spends her life traveling all across the country to give humans a chance to look a wolf in the eye and decide for themselves…is she really as “Big and Bad” as her reputation might suggest?
True Wolf , a film by Missoula film maker, Rob Whitehair of Tree & Sky Media Arts, follows the life of Koani, a wolf born in captivity who became an ambassador for her species and changed the lives of so many people.
When Montana couple Bruce Weide and Pat Tucker made the decision not to euthanize an abandoned wolf pup in 1991, they had little idea of how their new houseguest named Koani would end up shaping their lives. After a lengthy trial-and-error process of learning how to share space with a territorial predator (Lesson 1: Always have plenty of replacement furniture on hand), they developed a healthy respect and profound appreciation for the line separating “man’s best friend” and White Fang.
With Koani in the role of “Ambassador Wolf,” this unusual pack traveled to communities across America where the return of wolves was an explosive controversy; their goal, to give people a chance to look a wolf in the eye and decide for themselves if the stories and legends about this animal reflected reality or imagination.
Born in captivity, Koani could only be a captive wolf. She could never roam wild nor could she be allowed to run free. For Bruce and Pat, despite all their efforts to provide for Koani’s needs, they would have to face the painful truth that they could not provide for her greatest need – to be free. As she would prove time and time again, she was a wolf – and wolves belong in the wild.
True Wolf weaves the story of life with Koani into the larger issue of humanity’s relationship with the wolf and wildness. Through 16 years of original Koani footage, supplemented by provocative interviews, stylized re-creations and stunning wolf footage, this contemporary film explores the highly polarized and contentious period before, during, and after the United States made the historic decision to return wolves to the homelands from which they’d been exterminated and delivers a timely message to be considered as the controversy surrounding wolves continues to play out.
Students, teachers, wildlife biologists, and even a few grizzled motorcycle enthusiasts are on hand to describe how their encounters with Koani changed their views of nature. Showing an admirable even-handedness towards its subject matter, True Wolf also takes time to explore the ethical concerns inherent in raising a wild animal, resulting in a documentary that offers plenty of food for thought afterwards.
How can YOU help spread the word about this new documentary film by Rob Whitehair? Encourage your friends to attend the other openings:
- Portland, OR starts June 29 Cinema 21
- Missoula, MT starts June 29 The Wilma Theater
- Denver, CO starts June 29 Landmark Chez Artiste Theater
- Sante Fe, NM starts July 13 The Screen
- Waterville, ME July 13 – 22 Maine International Film Festival