Linda Hoagland has created a documentary filled with ‘aww’ moments.
Linda Hoagland has created a documentary filled with ‘aww’ moments.

Director Linda Hoagland has created a documentary about animals that have been rescued that is filled with ‘aww’ moments.

The Wound and the Gift consists of six segments all wrapped inside an ancient Japanese folk tale narrated by Vanessa Redgrave. The first segments feature wolf-dogs, then zoo animals that were to be euthanized, and then retired race horses. We meet the people who care for each of these animals, including prisoners in a work re-training program.

The humanity and ‘animality’ is compelling as we feel good about meeting the people adopting dogs, and giggle happily at the people bringing a potpourri of animals to a religious procession.

Things get more meditative in the last sequence as we meet the people who run a crane sanctuary, which parallels the Japanese tale about a crane, wounded in flight by a hunter’s arrow and saved by a kindly peasant.

As one person says: “saving one animal will not change the world, but surely for that one animal it’s world is changed forever”. Those kinds of transformations make for some warm and fuzzy film making.

The Wound and the Gift.  USA, 2014.  Directed by Linda Hoaglund.  Screenplay by Linda Hoaglund.  Visit for showtimes.