As I often comment on documentaries like this, Rewilding can easily unleash its initially attractive potential and end on a high note that would be absolutely appropriate considering the topic at hand. There would be nothing wrong with director Jesse Spiegel really turning his own adventure into a joyful journey, avoiding the raw consequences of his approach. However, his decision to leave his comfort zone seems important and somehow substantial.
Rewilding is a beautiful journey to redemption and personal forgiveness that reveals the wonderful work done by a few. But it’s also a movie that talks about a conversation we need to have more often. Not that Spiegel’s goal is any less important than the last point. The point is that it implies an organic turn towards something much more realistic and general than we think: why is race a factor in doing justice, serving it and condemning man?
The documentary Revival is a portrait of Spiegel’s mission to create a kind of program that connects previously incarcerated young people with a world they don’t know. Your point is risky, given the folish standards of society. Spiegel and his friends are brave climbers who have a connection to nature that seems extreme, and their goal is to use the experience as a test for young people who have not had the privilege of exploring what most consider an extreme sport.
The “casting” chooses Anthony Dejesus, a black artist who was at Rikers. Dejesus agrees to an adventure that he cannot understand, since there have never been “white” activities like this in his world. After that comes an awesome relationship based on the elimination of prejudices, misunderstandings and all the silly opinions we have had about race and tradition. In the process of reinvention, Dejesus confronts himself and his potential future.
And then Rewilding will go even further. It’s a comment about mental health that wasn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s essential when you think about Dejesus and an opportunity he didn’t miss. Were you lucky enough to participate in something like this? Why? Don’t we all deserve forgiveness and equality in the eyes of the law and the judicial system, which is called to be just?
Spiegel also confronts himself when his film has to cover the rough side of the journey. In the persuasive segment, we see different points of view on things that we think do not belong to us. The two opposite men find common ground on something as superficial as a cell phone, but it’s an integral part of a movie that speaks very intelligently about forgiveness and prejudice.