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A recommendation: Wild Life documentary

This is a documentary that has the power to change your life and make you rethink how you live and what you do with your money. If that doesn't get your attention, then I don't know if anything else I can say will make you want to watch this! Nonetheless, it is an exceptionally moving doc film that is powerful not only in its majestic filmmaking, but above all with the story it tells. Wild Life is the latest documentary made by Oscar-winning filmmakers Jimmy Chin & Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (also of Meru, Free Solo, and The Rescue) and it was initially released in theaters in early 2023 after premiering at film festivals in late 2022. The film tells the story of conservationists Kris Tompkins and Doug Tompkins, chronicling their fight to preserve one of the last truly wild places on earth. It is about their mission to create National Parks in Chile (and a few in Argentina as well) by buying up massive amounts of land and donating it back to them with the condition that it be preserved and maintain entirely as a National Park. It is a remarkable story, in every possible way – it took them over 25 years to finally make this happen, to make it official. They had to fight and fight and fight, and yet what they've done will last forever. This is how inspirational & invigorating this film is, reminding us that we really can make a for-all-time, save-the-world difference on this planet in our one life here.

Kris Tompkins in Wild Life

Wild Life is only 1 hour & 33 minutes long, evenly paced as it explores their lives before this monumental conservationist plan was set in motion in Chile. Kris and Doug Tompkins first met through their friend Yvon Chouinard, one of the co-founders of the clothing company Patagonia. All three of them worked in the same circles running outdoor clothing companies, and Patagonia got this name because Doug and Yvon traveled their together in the late 1960s and fell in love with the area in Chile. Not only is it a story about their efforts to help save this land in Chile, it's also a story about how their love for the outdoors, for adventure, for this beautiful planet, helped them maintain a clear mind when they were running businesses. Eventually Doug and Kris left their cushy jobs at these corporate clothing companies and took the money they made and used it for good. It's a surprisingly rare and deeply moving example of actually using money for good. I've seen the film twice now (it was even better a second time around) and everyone I've recommended it to is amazed by it. This wonderful documentary not only shares with us so much of the beauty of Chile and Argentina, but it also will wake up something inside of everyone, this desire deep within to make a real difference. To never waste on minute of your life if you truly believe in preserving this beauty and all this life around us.

Wild Life is available worldwide on Disney+ to stream right now. For more info on the film + how to watch it other ways, visit the official website (Opens in a new window).

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