In Teach Me to Be WILD, depressed, angry, and anxious middle school students meet animals that have been hurt. This meeting often is in silence, the natural state of the animals – and in this silence, the students find their own voice. Through the gift of this film, we receive the gift of witnessing the students’ intimate relationships — with animals, nature, and each other — that become a powerful force in their lives. The word “sanctuary” has a heightened meaning in the world today. Teach Me to Be WILD beautifully holds both meanings of the word — that of a sacred space and a place of refuge and protection.
Teach Me to Be WILD brings the viewer into a world of healing where we see the mysterious connectedness between human and non-human animals. While we know about the power of pets, here we encounter wild animals who teach youth who are hurting about the wonder of life. We also see the transformational beauty of bringing people and animals together in a safe place to grow. Viewing the film is in itself healing—warm, gentle, compassionate.
This film tells the inspiring story of two wise and grounded men who bring injured animals and injured teens together to heal each other. But nature is the true teacher in this story and we, the audience, are the students. Like the remarkable teens in this film, by the end you will recognize your own desire to cultivate a quiet, peaceful place in the natural world where you can listen to your own inner voice.
CHRIS KOCH. Teacher, International School of Zug and Luzern, Switzerland
There is magic in the film — you can see through the animal’s eyes and break through. It is real. And it may be the first real thing that some of the children have touched other than real pain. And here is something real, beyond them. And you yield to it because the power is deep. What we saw in the film was seeing, children who have never been seen or unable to see themselves, saw themselves through the eyes of the animals. And that’s magic.
The filmmakers allowed the story to happen, and they have created something truly wonderful. The film conveys healing in such a spontaneous, gentle, and innocent way; yet I was really struck by the raw and pure emotions that came through. The healing that the animals are experiencing… that the children are experiencing — I could feel the power of that healing coming through to me.
DR. ADRIAN G. BARTOLI, M.D. Pain Management, Anesthesiologist (Sutter Health, San Francisco) & Ayurvedic Doctor
This film moved me on so many levels! The message of calming oneself, being present and listening was not only reflected in the student’s comments, but in the pacing and musical score as well. I was taken back to my childhood to reflect on what I am now just learning to do. Even though Teach Me To Be WILD is such a great healing guide for at-risk and wounded kids, it has a deep and essential message for us all.
This spiritual film touched my heart — everyone transformed in some way. The animals, although hurt by humans, have learned to trust humans again. The humans, although deeply hurt inside, have restored trust to themselves and other living beings.
CHIN SHIEN SHI. Berkeley Buddhist Monastery
This is a masterful piece. With just the right amount of footage, you capture the spirit of the animals, the spirit of the children and the spirit of Steve Karlin. I am thinking about how this gift can be made available to the world.
DR. GRACE DAMMAN, M.D. Prominent HIV/AIDS Physician, San Francisco & Dalai Lama Honoree. Her life-story is captured in the film States of Grace
The film is fantastic and you have created a true legacy for a beautiful place run by the most heartfelt people. The film captures the relationships, the energetic exchanges, the learning, and most of all the beauty of life in each of its human and other manifestations. It is full of uplifting stories and stunning closeups of beings that I now sense as fellow travelers on this verdant and cerulean planet.
TOM SARGENT. Trustee, Tamalpais Trust
We are all connected. Teach Me To Be WILD captures the work of Wildlife Associates and the power of relationship and respect as meaningful and effective elements of healing. The film is grounded, believable, moving, inspiring and up lifting. It goes beyond conventional modern day medicine to demonstrate the healing capacity inherent in interspecies connection and human kindness. This film and work have much to teach us. It is well worth seeing and deserves our support. I commend all those involved in the compassionate healing work being described — and it doesn't even require a prescription!
DR. WILLIAM B. STEWART, M.D. Co-Founder & Medical Director-Emeritus, Institute for Health & Healing, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco/Sutter Health. Author of Deep Medicine: Harnessing the source of your healing power
Watching the film brought tears to my eyes, it took my breath away, and made me smile over and over again. It is exquisite, hopeful, and so heartfelt. Your film has motivated me to bring more animals into the children's world. Animals, fire, silence and storytelling will now play a big part in my work. These elements bring so much authenticity and purity to our experiences. I bow to your work, your care, your love.
ANTOINETTE DeNARDIS. Lead Teacher, Waldorf -Inspired Ke Alaula School, Kauai, Hawaii