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More Direct Cinema than documentary, "Wildcat" takes an invisible approach to capturing its unfolding narrative.
Melissa Lesh and co-director Trevor Beck Frost spent several years working in the Peruvian rainforest with American wildlife rehabilitation specialist Samantha Zwicker and British Afghanistan war veteran Harry Turner.
Samantha and Harry have what it takes to handle living in the middle of the jungle. They make for a badass team. Naturally, carnal romance enters their entwined lives.
Both Samantha and Harry do battle with personal demons, his from war experiences, hers from growing up with an abusive alcoholic father.
Harry struggles with depression.
Samantha is more of a trooper. She doesn't wallow in the past.
Raising a lost ocelot cub for the 18 months it takes for the fierce creature to be released into the wild, allows for a similar trajectory for our complex leading characters, Samantha and Harry.
This is the first time such a rescue and release has ever been attempted.
No rule book for this shit.
Suffice it to say "Wildcat" is a deeply personal film that makes a transparent comparison between the jungles of Peru, and the jungle of society that we all traverse.
Challenging, thought-provoking, and suspenseful, "Wildcat" is a lot of movie.
Hearts will be broken.
Hearts will be healed.
Long live the wildcat.
Rated R. 106 mins.