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An Ancient Spirit Returns

Reexamines the relationship between humans and wolves.

A printer-friendly version of this page 45 minutes
Directed by Michael Rosen and Sharon Howard
Produced by Howard Rosen Productions, Inc.
Narrated by Peter Coyote

"Breathtaking in scope and execution." LOS ANGELES TIMES
With the reintroduction of Canis lupus to Yellowstone National Park many people have begun to rethink how they feel about wolves.

Thousands of years ago, we invited wolves into our caves as hunting partner and protectors. An ancient bond was formed between humans and wolves that ultimately resulted in the domesticated canine. The dog became "man's best friend", but the wolf became the most persecuted and misunderstood animal in the world.

Over centuries Europeans' hatred of wolves grew as farms and livestock grazing lands replaced forests, squeezing the wolf's natural habitat. When Europeans came to the Americas, they brought their legends, myths, and fear of wolves with them. But the attitudes of the native peoples of North America toward wolves was vastly different; they were seen as thinking, reasoning fellow beings that possess souls. Like them, the wolf is a hunter, and lives in a pack much like a tribe. Native people call the wolf "brother" and treat it with respect and honor.

Which view of the wolf is true? Are they bloodthirsty or benevolent? What is their role in the ecosystem? Why do we fear them? Why do we need them? What is a proper relationship between humans and this magnificent predator species?

Grade Level: 7-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 2004     Copyright Date: 2004
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-049-9     VHS ISBN: 1-59458-048-0

"Breathtaking in scope and execution."
Los Angeles Times

"There are many films about wolves, WOLF portrays these misunderstood animals in a sensitive way, with great footage, and compelling interviews with some of the most involved people in the field"
J. Henry Fair, Professional Photographer and Director, Wolf Conservation Center

"Colorful and haunting..."
The Seattle Times

"This film WOLF is a blend of science, history and passion. It contains some of the most phenomenal wolf footage I have ever seen...This could very well be my favorite wolf documentary of all time."
Kim Holt, Wolf Recovery Foundation

"Wolf qualifies as a concise yet thorough portrait of a species in transition."
Video Librarian

"An amazing video... Inspirational viewing for any wolf lover, Wolf: An Ancient Spirit Returns is also very highly recommended for junior high, high school and college classrooms."
Midwest Book Review, Library Bookwatch

"The spectacular success of the reintroduction of the gray wolf to Yellowstone National Park is beautifully captured in this historical documentary that celebrates the wolf's majesty and mystery and gives those who revile his prowess and predation much food for thought... Overall the film's inspirational impact is impressive. The video and audio are magnificent and skillfully edited for maximum impact... Highly recommended for junior high, high school, college, university, and public library collections. Essential in biology, ecology, zoology, and environmental studies programs."
Pamela Rose, Educational Media Reviews Online

Select your institution type

Awards and Festivals
5 EMMY Awards
Best of Category, EarthVision Enviromental Film Festival
Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival

Animal Behavior/Communication
Animal Rights
Environmental Ethics
Life Science
Native Americans
Western US

Related Titles

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Coexisting with predators and protecting their habitats.

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Way of the Bear in Alaska
The latest information about the behavior of grizzlies.

Living Things We Love to Hate
Light-heartedly replaces our revulsion towards certain creatures with ecological understanding.

Baboon Tales
Dr. Shirley Strum's new interpretation of baboon society.

Varmints (Short Version)
The controversy surrounding the decline of the prairie dog.

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