MISHA AND THE WOLVES
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Sundance Film Festival 2021
The combination of archive footage, fresh interviews and extensive dramatic reconstructions is tightly edited. Hobinkson makes the most of a hugely involving story and a collection of fascinating individuals. Holocaust survivor Evelyne Haendel provides some of the most eloquent, emotional testimony as she tracks down Defonseca’s family records and reflects on the parallels with her own childhood.
It is a film that keeps you hooked but also nudges you to reflect on whether you can believe what is right in front of your eyes. How can you establish truth in a world of fake news fraudulence? It also constantly pivots our perceptions of the heroic Defonesca and the aggrieved Daniel to a point where the only thing that remains is a recognition of human fraility and a reluctance to judge.
Misha constructs a dynamic essay about the persuasive power of storytelling. Each commentary is compelling on its own, and Hobkinson adeptly directs his interviewees to ensure that each one spins a good yarn. So too does editor Peter Norrey, who cuts the narratives together with inquisitive vigour. The elaborate web of truth and lies creates a captivating and suspenseful enquiry. Misha and the Wolves adopts the thrill of the chase as multiple parties frantically seek the truth of Misha’s story.