Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Grey and the Shadow
I am a Wolf mother. And I am pissed.
I just heard today about the release of a movie called The Grey. It stars Liam Neeson and is about a group of men who brave the Alaska wilderness and are attacked by a pack of Grey Wolves.
I understand that like all fictional movies, it is supposed to be fantasy. So here is what I have to say about this particular fantasy: it sucks.
Over the last few centuries wolves have been terribly persecuted, tortured, killed, and used for all sorts of reasons, including entertainment. At one point in the continental United States there were only 200 wolves left after many thousands were wiped out. For such a huge area of land that's a pitiful number. While Native Americans lived harmoniously with wolves, learning from them with respect and honor, white Europeans generally did not. In some instances wolves were captured and their mouths wired shut and re-released into the wild to die a slow, excruciating starvation death. At one point in the Western United States there was a road made of wolf skulls. Right now there are only 2000 wolves left in the United States and they are fighting for their very survival.
In truth wolves are loving and family oriented. They shy away from humans in the wild and you'll rarely even see a wolf even in wolf country. Attacks on humans are very, very rare. At a time when they are in desperate need of our support, the release of this movie is highly irresponsible and mean.
Like women and people of color, wolves have had to bear the projection of Shadow onto them. They are depicted as dangerous, vicious, cruel, wiley, the qualities that I would say actually belong to the Sarah Palins out there who enjoy hunting them. But that's what shadow projection is, it's the pot calling the kettle black, it's a way to deny that one has qualities that they don't like to see themselves. And it's easy to project the shadow onto the voiceless. So it is up to those of us who love wolves to be their voice.
Please make your voice heard and sign the petitions by White Wolf.
And make your voice heard with your wallet, too. Do not pay to see this movie.
And as I am finishing this article, I have heard an even more gruesome thing about the harming of wolves in relation to this movie: Liam Neeson stated in an interview that he ate wolf meat as part of his preparation for filming The Grey. Read more here: Liam Neeson and ‘The Grey’ Cast Ate Wolf Meat.
Whoa. Anybody still want to say that this is just "fantasy"?