We can all dream big, but few can transform those visions into reality as the subjects of the documentary Wild Life manage. The Free Solo Oscar winning team of Chai Vasararhelyi and Jimmy Chin once again focus on the great outdoors with elements of mountain climbing as they show how a few business people managed to prevent millions of acres in Chile from destruction by encroaching industry. Not your typ
ical business people, of course. The story starts with a woman named Kris Tompkins, just after she manages to pull herself out of the quagmire of grief that nearly destroys her after the death of her husband Douglas. Those names may not ring an instant bell, but their associations do: he founded the outdoor gear company North Face before switching to Esprit fashions; she served as first CEO and chief advisor for Patagonia clothes. They left those businesses behind with a fair chunk of change, moved to Patagonia, Chile, and began a many decades long process to create national parks. Tomkins’ highly photogenic hobby/slash business of flying airplanes and climbing dramatic peaks meant they captured much of their life on film and video, which gives the moviemakers loads of breathtaking images to include, from jaw dropping aerial footage to recent efforts to repopulate regions with native animals. The memories and thoughts from various interview subjects including Patagonia clothing entrepreneur Yvon Chouinard and former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet provide extra insight and preclude the need for structured narration. Some voice over comes from Kris Tompkins as she reads diary entries revealing deep struggles and fears, giving the project its heart and inspiring sense of hope.