HOWL Colorado

Movie: True Wolf – What does it mean to be wild?

True Wolf movie poster

True Wolf movie poster

What happens when a Montana couple adopts a wolf pup? This new movie shares the story of the experience over 16 years and how a wolf is always a wolf.

When Montana couple Bruce Weide and Pat Tucker made the decision to adopt an abandoned wolf pup in 1991, they had little idea of how their new houseguest named Koani would end up sharing their lives.

After a lengthy trial-and-error process of learning how to share space with a territorial predator (Lesson 1: Always have plenty of replacement furniture on hand), they developed a healthy respect and profound appreciation for the line separating “man’s best friend” and White Fang.

With Koani in the role of “Ambassador Wolf,” the trio made it their mission to educate others. Utilizing a wealth of archival footage and personal remembrances, director Rob Whitehair’s delightful all-ages documentary shows the long-lasting effects that his three stars (along with faithful canine companion Indy) had on their surroundings.

Students, teachers, and even a few grizzled motorcycle enthusiasts are on hand to describe the ways their views on nature were changed by their encounters with Koani. Showing an admirable even-handedness towards its subject matter, True Wolf also takes time to explore the ethical concerns inherent in raising a wild animal, resulting in a documentary for nature enthusiast that offers plenty of food for thought afterwards.

True Wolf theatrical trailer


True Wolf is the story of a wolf called Koani. Koani, with the help of her human companions, became an ambassador of her species, traveling the country to help raise awareness about wolves. True wolf is about Koani’s life and journey; it is the tale of a wolf and the way she changed lives, most of all those of Pat Tucker and Bruce Weide. Koani and her humans, Pat and Bruce, presented 1,400 programs about wolves to 200,000 people.

The file explores Bruce and Pat’s relationship with Koani. Born in captivity, Koani could only be a captive wolf. She could never roam wild nor could she be allowed to run free. For Bruce and Path, despite all their efforts to provide for Koani’s needs, they would have to face the painful truth that they could not provide her greatest need – to be free. As she would prove time and time again, she was a wolf – and wolves belong in the wild.

True Wolf weaves the story of Bruce and Pat’s life with Koani into the larger issue of humanity’s relationship with the wolf and wilderness. Through 16 years of archival footage, supplemented by provocative interviews, stylized re-creations and stunning wolf footage, this contemporary film explores the highly polarized and contentious period before, during and after the United States made the historic decision to return wolves to the homelands from which they’d been exterminated in the Northern Rockies.

Release Date: June 22, 2012
Official Web Site:

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