Walking with wolves **
by Jean-Michel Bertrand
French documentary, 1 h 28
" One obsession: meet the eyes of wolves ". Released at the start of the film by the voice-over and hoarse voice of Jean-Michel Bertrand, mountain dweller and confirmed animal director (The Valley of the Wolves in 2017 made nearly 200,000 entries), this sentence alone sums up the object of this beautiful film, both documentary and fiction.
For the director, it is a matter of following for almost 300 km, summer and winter, a young gray wolf who has just left the pack to create his own territory, find a young female and start a family. A real challenge, which with the help of a few cleverly arranged and camouflaged microphones, and an undeniable sense of the terrain, he will succeed in meeting.
(Embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O04E8b3uK_U (/ embed)
A peaceful hunt
Alone, backpack, sometimes on foot with his long stick or mounted on touring skis, sheltering in a cave or in a hut typical of the Jura, bivouacking in the snow under a starry sky, we see him pacing plateaus , foothills, valleys or passes, from the Hautes-Alpes from where it is native to the Jura via Isère and Ain.
Mountains, mountain lakes, waterfalls filmed from a drone, everyday life where you find yourself wanting, like the director-actor, to taste a truffle omelet: you savor these moments of effort, research, impatience but never weariness, and peaceful tracking of the wild canine.
As soon as an animal crosses the field of its hidden cameras, Jean-Michel Bertrand is warned on his cell phone. Parade in close-up, a real mountain bestiary: deer, deer, fox, badger, corvid, weasel or weasel, northern lynx reintroduced in the 1970s and … the wolf which, thanks to its hyperdeveloped sense of smell, detects the camera, smells it and appears as if we are a few inches from him.
In osmosis with animals
This osmosis with animals, we also feel it when we see and hear wolves howling to locate themselves, listen to each other, and exchange. A behavior typical of this species, fundamental in their social life, but which ethological researchers do not yet understand well and which, unfortunately, evoke in many of us a feeling of fear, even today.
→ DOSSIER. Wolves in France
This film, which has also been the subject of a book (1), is also a personal quest of the director who gives us his reflections and questions about the impact of man on nature. It shows a fox hanged with a collar in a tree or pilots of motocross and quads breaking through the silence of the mountain with their sparkling machines.
Too bad he feels compelled to address an angry question, that of the wolf's return to France, evoking the "Minority of breeders in the media". A reductive speech, which has no place here as this film is above all "naturalistic", poetic, initiatory and inspires meditation more than discussion.
. (tagsToTranslate) wolf (t) movie review (t) Cinema (t) Bertrand (t) pursues (t) Marche (t) Michel (t) quest (t) wolves