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Freedom for the Wolf
by Karen Pecota

Philosopher Isaiah Berlin (6 June 1909 – 5 November 1997) warned society against political hijacking long before the current years of the 2000's. According to historians, Berlin was a Russian-British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas.

Born into a wealthy Jewish family, living in Russia for a time, his philosophical view of political leadership stemmed from a life-long observation of the elite and ruling class to use political agendas for their own good. Not necessarily for the masses.

Documentarian Rupert Russell uses various philosophers including Berlin's ideas to question whether we are attuned to what is happening to democracy around the world. Berlin warns in several of his intellectual lectures and writings against the wolves of society and if given the opportunity, will destroy the freedoms of democracy. Russell quotes Berlin, "...freedom for the wolves has often meant death for the sheep."

Russell observes that, "Democracy is in crisis. A new generation of elected leaders is dismantling freedom and democracy as we know it." His observational findings are revealed in his latest documentary Freedom for the Wolf that was filmed over three years in five countries: United States, Japan, India, Tunisia and Hong Kong. His filming began in Hong Kong in August of 2014 and finished on the evening of the Women's March on Washington, June 22, 2017.

The films' investigative journalism discovers how young people from five varied countries are fighting against the same political leaders who have no qualms to trample on human rights and minorities. They are wolves not in sleeps clothing. They are blatant, controlling and feel comfortable in their own skin.

In his film Freedom of the Wolf, Russell explores the crisis facing democracy, "We see that the wolves are on the rise. Can they be defeated?" Russell's insightful and intellectual expose gives us food for thought and encourages those who want to keep the freedoms of democracy alive to be active. For example, Russell says that protests are actions that work.

He explains, "The Women's marches of January 2017 have been incredibly successful. The grassroots organizations that came from the marches are what have given women the spaces, opportunities and platforms to begin to articulate and report sexual harassment and assault." He continues, "It's provided the #metoo movement the opportunity to take credit for the men already removed from power - and the many still to go." To curtail the freedom of the wolves is possible but we need to do our part.