A Man Among Wolves -- an early look
It's difficult to watch A Man Among Wolves, the story of Shaun Ellis, a man who chooses to live among wolves in captivity to better understand them, and not draw comparisons to Grizzly Man, Werner Herzog's documentary about Timothy Treadwell, a man who lived in the wild with bears and ultimately was killed by one.
Ellis, just like Treadwell, has no scientific background, and there are many moments during the documentary when that is made painfully clear. Nevertheless, to see a human accepted into a wolf pack he raised from pups is what makes A Man Among Wolves worth checking out. As one wildlife expert points out: regardless of Ellis' lack of formal training, he's giving folks an intimate glimpse into the lives of these animals that no one else has seen, and that's what makes the documentary so compelling.
In Grizzly Man, Treadwell seemed naive, but I don't think the same should be said for Ellis. He's eccentric, to say the least, and very unorthodox in his approach, but his goal to help protect the wolves and create a safe environment for them seems to keep him centered in some semblance of reality. Still, I was never fully convinced that Ellis was ever really a part of the wolf pack, or just a harmless intruder the wolves chose to tolerate.
The special will air on the National Geographic Channel on Monday, April 16 at 9:00 p.m.