Archive for the ‘Jean-Jacques Annaud’ Category

Taming Mongolia

Wolf Totem

wolf_totem

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud

Cast: Shaofeng Feng, Shawn Dou, Yin Zhusheng, Ankkhnyam Ragchaa

Acclaimed French director Jean-Jacques Annaud (The Lover, Seven Years in Tibet) returns with an extraordinary and powerful film Wolf Totem set in Mongolia at the start of the Cultural Revolution in China. Wolf Totem had its South African premiere at the 36th Durban International Film Festival DIFF.

Set on the Mongolian steppes where untamed wolves run wild, the story focuses on a young student Chen Zhen from Beijing who is sent there to indoctrinate the local tribesman about the benefits of communism. Instead Chen Zen encounters a harsh, hostile environment where the Mongolian tribes live at one with nature and dare not upset the delicate harmony between man and beast.

However, this relationship especially between man and wolf is further complicated by the interference of the local Chinese leader who is enforcing Communist ways on an essentially nomadic existence of the Mongolians, who respect the environment and the delicate ecosystem in which man and nature survive together in this harsh landscape.

Visually spectacular and brilliantly filmed, Wolf Totem is a powerful film about the dangers of interfering with an ancient civilization which has lived for centuries with the knowledge that man and beast must mutually respect each other’s power. When this respect is forcefully compromised, the wolves retaliate and so do the tribesman in a battle of man against beast which will leave many viewers that cannot tolerate animal cruelty shielding their eyes.

In terms of Visual Anthropology, Wolf Totem is essential viewing and a powerful indictment on the dangers of man interfering with an already delicate ecosystem and that despite their ability to reason, sometimes man cannot always tame or extinguish wild animals, such as the rampant Mongolian wolves.

Instead, the wolves should be respected, even the wolf cub which Chen Zen tries to tame, should ultimately be allowed to roam free in their natural habitat. Warning that Wolf Totem is not recommended for viewers that are sensitive to scenes of animal cruelty.

Wolf Totem is a fascinating tale of how a Beijing man, Chen Zen becomes accustomed to the existence of a fast vanishing nomadic tribe: the Mongolians, which is ultimately threatened by a stringent political system which is intent on crushing all signs of individualism and natural harmony.

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
August 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
  • Box Office: ‘Good Boys’ Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million
    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX
    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC […]
    Brian Steinberg
  • ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards
    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and […]
    John Hopewell
  • George R.R. Martin Says HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Won’t Influence Future Novels
    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” […]
    Nate Nickolai
  • Listen: ‘Pennyworth’ Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred’s Backstory
    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama […]
    atingley4
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90