20th IFFK 2015-Opening film-WOLF TOTEM / LE DERNIER LOUP
WOLF TOTEM / LE DERNIER LOUP
China, France/ 2015 / Colour / 119 mins / Mongolian / Jean-Jacques Annaud
Impressively staged animal action sequences spice up an unconvincingly drawn human drama
French director Jean-Jacques Annaud adapts the Chinese bestseller about a Beijing youngster who adopts a wolf cub in Inner Mongolia during the Cultural Revolution.
In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to Inner Mongolia to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. . But it is in fact Chen who has a lot to learn – about life in this vast, hostile, and breathtaking land, about the notion of community, liberty, and responsibility, and about the most feared and venerated creature of the steppes, the wolf. Seduced by the complex and almost mystical bond between these sacred creatures and the shepherds, he captures a wolf cub in order to tame it. But the burgeoning relationship between man and animal – along with the tribe's traditional way of life and the future of the world itself – is threatened when a regional representative of the central authority decides to do whatever it takes to eliminate wolves from the region.
Cast: Feng Shaofeng, Shawn Dou, Ankhnyam Ragchaa, Yin Zusheng, Basen Zhabu, Baoyingxige
Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Screenplay: Jean-Jacques Annaud, Alain Godard, Lu Wei, John Collee, based on the novel by Jiang Rong
Producers: La Peikang, Xavier Castano, Jean-Jacques Annaud
Executive producers: La Peikang, Zhao Duojia, Cao Yin, Allen Wang, Xu Jianhai
Director of photography: Jean-Marie Dreujou
Production designer: Quan Rongzhe
Costume designer: Ma Ying Bo
Editor: Reynald Bertrand
Music: James Horner
Special effects supervisors: Christian Rajaud, Guo Jinquan
Casting: Jessica Chen
Sales: Wild Bunch
About the Director
Born in 1943, the French director Jean-Jacques Annaud began his career with a bang: his debut feature La Victoire En Chantant, a parable about colonialism, won an Academy Award in 1977. Originally active in the advertising sector, Annaud’s name reached beyond the circle of purely French cineastes to include a much wider audience when he directed the multi award-winning literary adaptation The Name of The Rose (1986). His boundless curiosity and enthusiasm for spectacular themes enables him over and again to bridge the gap between art and commerce. The director of such cinema hits as Seven Years In Tibet (1997) and Enemy At The Gates (2001). Wolf Totem (2015) is his thirteenth film.