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of hu­man be­ings, such as sex­ual at­trac­tion and the de­sire to dom­i­nate.”

Set dur­ing the “cul­tural revo­lu­tion” (1966-76), the movie re­volves around a pack of Mon­go­lian wolves’ bat­tles against set­tlers who plun­der their win­ter prey and dam­age their habi­tat, where wolves have lived for cen­turies.

The plot — seen from the per­spec­tive of a Bei­jing stu­dent sent to the re­mote grass­lands of the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion dur­ing the na­tion­wide re-ed­u­ca­tion cam­paign — is based on the real-life ex­pe­ri­ences of the novel’s writer Lyu Ji­amin, bet­ter known as Jiang Rong.

The lead ac­tor, Feng Shaofeng, says half in jest: “The wolves are prin­ci­pal ac­tors in the movie. They were the bosses. We had to fol­low their sched­ule. They usu­ally worked only one hour a day.”

The ac­tor says that he fi­nally won over his co-stars af­ter he learned to clean and feed them.

WhileChi­nese film in­dus­try in­sid­ers view Wolf Totem as the hottest ticket for this hol­i­day sea­son, the movie has also grabbed in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion.

The 72-year-old French direc­tor said in a re­cent in­ter­view with Reuters that he had “carte blanche” on the project, and his screen­play was not edited at all by the coun­try’s broad­cast­ing reg­u­la­tor.

“The movie you see is the same movie I cut,” An­naud was quoted by Reuters as say­ing. Con­tact the writer at xu­fan@chi­

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