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Wolfpark, Demelza Kooij Click for trailer.

Tourists stand at the enclosure gate, staring incredulous at the wolves in front of them. They see animals commonly perceived as dangerous beasts, but these creatures offer warmth and consolation.

My feature debut Wolfpark is the story of an animal park deep in the woods of Canada. It is a place unique in the world; here you can step inside the confines of a wolf enclosure to cuddle, caress, and play with the animals. It leaves visitors puzzled, because the wolves they meet do not match the animals they know from fairytales, news reports, and wildlife films.

The park is its own universe where the cries of birds, wolf voices, and the wind pass through the confines of the enclosures unhindered. The place unfolds as a poetic sphere that challenges stereotypes and makes rigid classifications undone. But, a lingering tension remains: ‘are these real wolves?’ Are wolves not typified by the ability to roam free, to be wild? The story of the park and the human-wolf dichotomy act as a metaphor for the world-wide environmental and ethical issues our planet is facing today.

Wolfpark (75+, exp. 2022)

Feature documentary film

Wolfpark is a cinematic journey to a place where humans come for close contact encounters with wolves. Traversing gazes, the film questions the natural and artificial, free and confined, what is human and what is animal.

Visions du Réel 2016

Directed by – Demelza Kooij
Producer – Anita Norfolk, Folk Film
Director of Photography – Joris Cottin
Additional Cinematography – Demelza Kooij
Music and Sound Design – Lars Koens
Editor – Demelza Kooij

Wolfpark, Demelza Kooij