Bukovica region in the Croatian Dalmatian hinterland is just a few kilometres from popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic Sea. However, houses there are devastated and in ruins, fields are overgrown with weeds, and many roads are impassable. There are no bars, no community spaces, no shops, or bus stops.
In such a socially isolated place, wolves turned up. They prey, lying in wait, bringing anxiety among people. In the night, terrified villagers listen to them howl. The local population’s bare existence is at stake. Their insecurity is deepened by memories of the war in the nineties that led to the break-up of Yugoslavia they lived through and the shocking news of a new one looming in Eastern Europe.
Ana drives in her little car for miles daily, armed with her camera and medical instruments. She moved here from the city far away to take the position of a state official who conducts investigations into the wolf attacks and oversees the compensations to herders. Being a scientist, she has a very rational approach to the world around her.
While conducting investigations, Ana meets an irrational world: a world full of suspicions, prejudices, myths, and conspiracy theories. The locals have no doubt in the latest theory: the state, in an agreement with Brussels, systematically populates the area with wolves, flying them from abroad with helicopters. They believe that the wolves are here to dispel the population, creating space for new foreign industries, stone quarries, and wind farms.
Energetic, charming, and adrenaline-driven, Ana is a bold woman trying to be accepted in the patriarchal milieu. She is educating shepherds, fighting with their stubborn disillusions.
But how can Ana convince the locals that their beliefs are wrong when they even suspect her of involvement in a conspiracy? Even as she refuses the conspiracy theory, she eventually decides to spend the rest of her life living among locals.
Ana’s transformation is the main dramatic arc of the film.
Development supported by Croatian Audiovisual Centre and Creative Europe – MEDIA
Production supported by Croatian Audiovisual Centre, Film Centre Serbia, and City of Zagreb
Presented at Astra Film Lab 2021, DocLisboa Nebulae 2021, ExOriente 2022/2023, DOK Preview Training 2023