By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2012 5:33 PM ET
I'd like to think Koani, the wolf whose life is documented in the new film True Wolf, was gay. Or at least a little queer. Her closest companion was a female dog named Indy and when Indy died, Koani lost a lot of interest in life as well. So if you're wondering what the LGBT angle on this story is, go with that.
Even without that hook, True Wolf (which hits theaters Aug. 17) is the kind of documentary that is likely to resonate with LGBT viewers. It's the story of Koani, who with the help of her human companions (the delightfully butch) Pat Tucker and Bruce Weide, became an ambassador for her species, traveling the country raising awareness about wolves.
Before she died, Koani (and her humans) presented 1,400 programs about wolves to 200,000 people, many in the Rocky Mountain states where fear and hatred of wolves can be at its peak. Koani was born in captivity so could never be able to live in the wild but this documentary shows that Tucker and Weide did good by her (finding her a companion for her because, as we learn in the film, wolfs are pack animals that cannot be alone even for the time it took for their human to go to the bathroom!), scavenging meat from butchers (one scene of Koani carrying around a deer head is not for vegans of the faint of heart), and using her life to educate and address the larger issues around our relationships with wolves, especially at a time when Yellowstone was deciding whether to reintroduce them after they were extreminated in the Northern Rockies.
Thought provoking, moving, and a little sad (spoiler: she dies), director Rob Whitehair's True Wolf is worthy a watch.