EXCLUSIVE: The War in Between, a documentary film about veterans with PTSD and wolves helping each other heal, just was picked up for North American distribution by 7th Art Releasing. The film, which marks the first documentary from director Riccardo Ferraris, takes at a look at the work being done in Ventura County at Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, run by Matt Simmons, a former Marine with a past of PTSD, and his wife, Dr. Lorin Lindner, a psychologist.
The idea for the documentary came from a Los Angeles Times article. “I had read that article about two to three years ago, but it was hard to believe,” producer Stefano Gallini-Durante (Voice from the Stone with Emilia Clarke) told Deadline. “So I drove out to see it myself, and I saw the connection between the veterans and the wolves and it’s undeniable that something magical happens. Those psychologically injured in war are able to eventually get off their medications and start to heal. And some of these veterans are young, like 32 years old. The veteran rehabilitates the wolf and the wolf rehabilitates the veteran. So they are healing themselves while healing these animals, which are so beautiful and majestic.”
Gallini-Durante said he was alerted to the article by Ferraris. “Lockwood is only allowed to bring in seven veterans at a time, and it’s only because of a lack of funding, but they could heal so many more veterans if given the opportunity,” he said. “Each wolf bonds with one man and it’s the wolf that actually selects the veteran. It’s incredible to watch. It makes you believe in humanity once again.”
Added 7th Art Releasing principal Udy Epstein: “The correlation between the plight of our veterans, many of which were afflicted with PTSD, and the open season on the North American wolf is chilling. This intimate documentary about a small, struggling California program which helps both our veterans and the North American gray wolf — which is being slaughtered to the brink of extinction — is a timely wake up call.”
Here’s a look at the trailer: