A Coyote Is A Relative Of Which Of These Animals Movie Review – "The Big Lonely" – Surviving in Isolation

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Movie Review – "The Big Lonely" – Surviving in Isolation

“The Big Lonely” is a fascinating film that tells the story of Michael Nelms, a persecuted man beaten by an uncaring bureaucracy and left penniless to live on the streets. Having been a successful car dealer, a real estate broker, and the victim of several bad marriages, retreating to a remote forest retreat seems a logical choice. Living under a bridge as a homeless person has no appeal for this man.

As he talks on camera, we find out that he built this little cabin on federal land and justifies his right to be there by calling it a mining claim, a bogus claim that he confesses. One of his daily tasks is to collect water from a nearby stream. The winter has been harsh and he has to get through a foot of ice. At the top is his dog Tic, a wolf-malamute mix. Food is a constant need in this desert and obtaining fresh meat is a demanding challenge. In winter, deer and elk move to lower elevations where food is more plentiful and the snow is not as deep. Snow accumulation levels have reached up to 10 meters in past years

As such, meat sources are limited to rabbits, coyotes, and rats. Dressing such animals and cooking them is a major part of the film. Michael shares his arrangements with his dog Tic and their relationship is one of equal partners in their quest to survive.

However, the issues of survival are not what make this film unique, it is the positive attitude of the participants, both Michael and his dog, Tic. They accept difficulties as a part of life and work together to overcome them. When a bear attacks Michael and knocks him to the ground, he stabs the animal in the throat. He describes the ordeal in detail, down to the hissing sounds of the bear gasping for air. It’s a terrible moment in his life, and he displays the resulting scars with some trepidation. As the bear meat made it through another winter, the attack left him with recurring nightmares. Michael confesses, “Dreams are where the mind takes you. Nightmares are where the mind takes you.”

It’s philosophies like these that give weight to this film, that this man has learned from his time in the desert and openly shares his thoughts with us. He talks about death and wants his body to replenish the earth that has nourished him for so many years. With supplies running out in the middle of winter, the two travel about fifty miles to restock. Michael sets up camp outside of town and finds various jobs to buy supplies to get him through the coming winter.

You may wonder how it could record so many images without an electrical source to recharge the camera’s batteries. While not covered in the film, I noticed some solar power devices mounted on a tree, which likely allowed the battery to be recharged.

The film is a stunning self-shot narrative as we follow a man finding peace and understanding in the Oregon wilderness. It is one man’s inspiring story of the resilience and resilience of the human spirit. A moving film, “The Big Lonely” delivers prophetic wisdom about the sins of the past and hopes for the future.

CREDITS: Cast: Michael Nelms; Director – David Manougian; Producer – Troy Gamble & David Kamens; Executive Producer – David Monougian; Editor – Kerribeth Elliot camera setup and consultation – JP Morgan; Camera & Sound – Michael Nelms; Composer & Performer of Original Music- Robin Zimmermann; Sound Editor – Reed Harvey; Line Editor – William Schultz; A Juicebox Product Introduction; Unrated; 82 minutes.

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