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HomeentertainmentMovie News'Wildcat' review: Wildlife doctor full of human emotion

'Wildcat' review: Wildlife doctor full of human emotion

Telluride witnessed the world premiere of a new wildlife documentary titled Wildcat , which Documentaries have a clear appeal for animal lovers as well as admirers of stunning real-life stories. Amazon will release the film this fall. The ocelots at the center of this animal rescue and liberation story will captivate audiences, but the human characters in this saga will have at least as much appeal.

Harry Turner was in England when he was in Afghanistan only Served in the military, the horrors he observed there traumatized him and led to suicidal acts. When he traveled to the Peruvian Amazon, he found new targets. While he was there, he met a woman named Samantha Zwicker who was involved in a project to rescue wildlife threatened by poachers. The two of them ended up developing a personal and professional relationship centered on a young ocelot cub who might not have survived without their help.


Bottom line An engaging backcountry tour.

They started filming their encounter with the ocelot, which ended up with professional filmmakers Melissa Leish and Trevor Baker Frost collaborated to document the arduous steps of raising ocelots. Wild cat and train it to return to the jungle and survive independently. The film strikes a satisfying balance between wildlife photography and more intimate, often disturbing human drama.

The filmmakers got very close to animals – not just ocelots, but birds and reptiles kittens had to learn to catch in order to live in the wild. An encounter with a dangerous caiman (the crocodile’s South American cousin) living in the Amazon is one of the most shocking survival battles ever.

But the dangers these two characters encounter transcend the dangers of nature. Harry’s wounds were deep and long lasting. He had cut himself in the past, and moments of depression made him more dangerously suicidal. The relationship with Samantha is partially healing, but not enough to offset the deep wounds of his devastating wartime experience.

We come to learn that Samantha has her own traumatic personal history, especially with her abusive father. Harry’s family history isn’t that problematic, and we learn from a particularly poignant clip when his parents and younger brother visited him in Peru and showed their love and support. His trauma must have started from his time in the military, and without elaborating on it, the film underscores the dangers of putting these young men at risk.

Harry and Samantha’s complicated relationship is handled too roughly to be completely satisfying. There’s no question that filmmakers don’t want to be accused of violating their privacy, but we still have some unanswered questions about their connections that overlap between the personal and the professional. Eventually, they both turned to other relationships.

But there’s no arguing about the film’s extraordinary footage of animals and the intense emotion that accompanies the inevitable moments they must be separated from the animals they present. Fans with fond memories will see hits with 1960, Born Free , focuses on a couple raising a lion cub and eventually realizing that their only victory will come from separating from the animal and returning it to its natural habitat. It was, of course, a pure Hollywood production, but it’s impossible for anyone who watched it as a child to forget its impact. Wildcat is a less hygienic, harsher work, but it will have some of the same emotional power.

Following the Q&A session at the Telluride screening, Zwick and Turner reported that they had seen glimpses of an ocelot (which they named Keanu) roaming freely in the jungle. Perhaps more importantly, Turner displayed a new calm and maturity in his reflective comments. This only proves that the healing of humans and beasts is possible (almost) complete. FULL CREDITS

Venue: Telluride Film Festival
Reseller: Amazon
Director: Melissa Produced by Lesh, Trevor Baker Frost People: Melissa Leish, Trevor Baker Frost, Alyssa Namiyas, Joshua Altman
Executive Producers: Michah Green, Daniel Steinman, Dan Friedkin, Trevor Groth, Adriana Banta, Sarah Hong, Stephen G. Hall, Michael J. Kelly, Alison J. SaiferDirector of Photography: Trevor Baker Frost, Melissa Lesh, Harry Turner
Editors: Melissa Lesh, Joshua Altman, David Zieff, Gen Gold
1960 Music: Patrick Jonson 1 hour18 minutes THR Newsletter

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