True Wolf is the story of a wolf called Koani. Koani, with the help of her human companions, became an ambassador for 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 film 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 Pat, despite all their efforts to provide for Koani’s needs, they would have to face the painful truth that they could not provide for 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 wildness. 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 our nation made the historic decision to return wolves to the homelands from which they’d been exterminated in the Northern Rockies.
About the Director
Rob Whitehair is an award-winning independent filmmaker who strives to tell stories that celebrate life and explore the connections between people and the Earth.
His films have won multiple awards at international festivals and have been broadcast worldwide.
He recently directed the multiple award-winning feature documentary The Little Red Truck which enjoyed a US theatrical release in the top 50 major markets in 2008 and was subsequently released on DVD worldwide, including Netflix and Blockbuster. His most recent wildlife film was Hollywood Fox (June 2006) for Parthenon Entertainment, National Geographic International, NDR, Animal Planet US and Voom TV, a unique blue chip high definition special about the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox in California.
As a cinematographer, he has shot over four hundred hours of high definition footage in conditions ranging from -30F to 120F. His camera work has been used in productions for Nat Geo, Discovery, PBS, and international broadcasters as well as many feature documentaries. He has been an on-camera host of a television series for PBS about wildlife films (1999, 2000).
He cites his influences as Jacques Cousteau, Orson Welles, John Wayne, Black Elk, Jackson Pollock and music…any and all types of music. He still believes that anything is possible.