Alpha

PG 96 mins

About the film

Release Date: Sep 27, 2018
Director: Albert Hughes
Actors: Kodi Smit-Mcphee
Traveling back 20,000 years to imagine how humans might first have bonded with our four-legged friends, Albert Hughes' Alpha finds a stranded youth and a wounded wolf learning to hunt together while the boy tries to find his way back home.

Kodi Smit-McPhee plays Keda, the son of a tribal chief (Johannes Haukur Johannesson) about to lead his people on their annual bison hunt. It's actually less a hunt than a tricky maneuver: The men get a herd stampeding, then manage to divert them toward a cliff, where dozens of them spill over to their deaths and can be calmly butchered. Tragically, though, Keda gets caught on one beast's horns, and lands on a tiny ledge when the animal goes over the cliff. Unconscious and too remote to be rescued, he is given up for dead by the grieving hunters.

Awakening after the others have left for home, Keda has a kind of two-wrongs-make-a-right experience: multiple misfortunes cancel each other out, leaving him alive, though wounded, on safe ground. And then the wolves start hunting him. He must learn to survive and navigate the harsh and unforgiving wilderness. Reluctantly taming a lone wolf abandoned by its pack, the pair learn to rely on each other and become unlikely allies, enduring countless dangers and overwhelming odds in order to find their way home before the deadly winter arrives.

This is a story about learning and earning leadership, about respecting the world around you, about surviving not just on wits and grit but by working in tandem with others. Who’s to say this Paleolithic parable has nothing to teach us now?

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