It’s getting to be a regular U.N. roll call: After Brazil’s Neon Bull, Mexico’s The Untamed and We Are the Flesh, Russia’s Zoology, and arguably the Bay Area’s own Unleashed, the latest country to step into the humanity-versus-bestiary debate is Germany, with Nicolette Krebitz’s Wild — which also happens to be the best story J.G. Ballard never wrote. Living in a gray, barren German city, Ania (Lilith Stangenberg) is deeply unhappy from her office-drone work, her family, and everything about her life.
One day, she sees a wolf on the edge of a nearby park. Drawn to it, she earns the beast’s trust with meat both dead and not-yet-dead. Inspired by the lack of fucks the wolf gives about the rest of the world, Ania begins using it as a role model, bringing the animal into her home and using it for the sexual and emotional releases she can’t find in the horrible and unfailingly sexist men in her life. Wild is a top-notch portrait of alienation that doesn’t skimp on carrying its bestial themes to their logical and often moist conclusions, and also remarkable that while the two wolves used onscreen to portray the single animal were highly trained, Stangenberg is still interacting with actual damn wolves.
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.