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2015 Wine Country Film Festival

Wolf Totem

Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud

World Cinema / USA / 2015 / Adventure / 121 mins / Mandarin, Mongolian with English subtitles

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Wolf Totem

Deerfield Ranch Winery "Al Fresco™' Outdoor
September 17, 2015 8:00 pm

Description

Due to rain Wolf Totem has been postponed to tonight! See you under the stars for this powerful film!
Jean-Jacques Annaud adds another visually bold adventure tale to his filmography (“Enemy at the Gates”, “Seven Years in Tibet”, “The Bear”) with Wolf Totem, shot on location under daunting conditions over a year-and-a-half period on the rugged steppes of Inner Mongolia using real wolves and a bare minimum of new-fangled digital effects.  The nature-loving Annaud has adapted Jiang Rong’s semi-autobiographical hit novel into a viscerally powerful drama, with magnificent natural vistas and pulse-pounding action. “Wolf Totem” is an environmentalist allegory.

 

WOLF TOTEM - WCFF OPENING NIGHT copy 2“Wolf Totem” is the 2015 Wine Country Film Festival Jack London Spirit Award winner and will Open the Festival on Wednesday, September 16 at Deerfield Ranch Winery in Kenwood, California. (www.wcff.us for tickets)
Annaud personally worked for three years to cultivate relationships with 30 wolves who would join his protagonists in this breakthrough film that has been selected by the Chinese as their Entry for the upcoming Oscars®.

 

In 1967, as the Cultural Revolution has taken hold, student Chen Zhen (Shaofeng Feng) arrives from Peking to teach the nomadic Mongols how to read and write Chinese instead of just existing in harmony as they have for centuries in an admirable ecosystem involving sheep, horses, grassy plains and wolves.

The city-bred intellectual is soon fascinated by the wolves that Party officials intend to thwart by ordering newborn wolf cubs killed.  The tribe’s wise elder Bilig (Basen Zhabu) protests that the wolves will not take kindly to the removal of their offspring but the bureaucrats from central planning think they know better than Mother Nature.

Chen secretly rescues and adopts a wolf cub, creating all sorts of dangerous ripples as, in the time-honored tradition of such stories, the city boy learns far more from the peasants (and even more from the wolves)  than the peasants learn from him.

Jean-Jacques Annaud’s adaptation of Jiang Rong’s semi-autobiographical novel is a viscerally powerful drama, with magnificent natural vistas and pulse-pounding action, “Wolf Totem” is an environmentalist allegory. That Annaud should be chosen to direct this project is particularly emblematic of the ‘new’ China, given the fact that he was ‘persona non grata’ in China and his “Seven Years in Tibet” is still banned by Sino officials.

Wolf Totem boasts outstanding production values and rural settings that make it a perfect fit for the Festival’s “Films al Fresco™” experience in of movies in the vineyards.

Dates & Times

Wolf Totem

Deerfield Ranch Winery "Al Fresco™' Outdoor
September 17, 2015 8:00 pm