Misha and the Wolves Parent Guide
A fascinating story trapped in a dull movie.
Parent Movie Review
Misha Defonseca was a little Jewish girl in Belgium when war broke out with Germany. As German paratroopers landed in the countryside, her parents were arrested and deported to camps, and Misha was left with a Catholic family who hid her and tried to keep her safe – until Misha took off into German territory to find her family. Seven years old, alone, and with little but a compass and a knife, she had little chance of survival. Fortunately for her, she fell in with a pack of wolves, who helped her survive in the wild. Long after the war, Misha, then living in Massachusetts, published a book about her experiences. The catch? None of those things happened, and Misha isn’t even her name. So who is this person?
This is not a film I would recommend for younger audiences. Not because of any particular content concerns, but because it’s just not written for a kids. Many of the interviewees do not speak English, and a lot of the film is subtitled as a result. More importantly, however, is that this is far too slow for kids. This is essentially 90 minutes of an exacting, detail-oriented fraud investigation, which may be interesting to adults, but would likely prove soporific to children.
Even for adults, I think this film is going to be a struggle and audiences are unlikely to be large. Misha and the Wolves tells an interesting tale, but the documentary spends a lot of time meandering around the periphery and avoiding the more significant parts of the story. Frankly, this is far better suited to adaptation as a 45-minute television special than as a feature-length film. Tighter editing would allow the show to retain important information while also being far more watchable.
If you’re determined to give it a shot, then you’ll be pleased to know there is almost no content of concern to families with teens. There is occasional footage from the war, including some scenes depicting imprisonment and torture, but that’s as bad as it gets. Your biggest obstacle to enjoying this movie is the movie itself – but if you can survive the slow pacing, then there’s a fascinating story here.Directed by Sam Hobkinson. Starring MIsha Defonseca. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release August 11, 2021. Updated February 24, 2022
Watch the trailer for Misha and the Wolves
Misha and the Wolves
Rating & Content Info
Why is Misha and the Wolves rated PG-13? Misha and the Wolves is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some thematic elements and unsettling images
Violence: Footage from WWII, including depictions of arrest and torture, is shown. There are verbal descriptions of killing and torture.
Sexual Content: None.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated February 24, 2022
Misha and the Wolves Parents' Guide
What are some other examples of ultimately fraudulent historical autobiographies? What kind of damage can these stories do? What are some true stories about the Holocaust?
Related home video titles:
Films about the holocaust include Schindler’s List, The Pianist, Conspiracy, The Song of Names, Labyrinth of Lies, Denial, Remember, Operation Finale, #Anne Frank: Parallel Stories, and Final Account. For a look at a young man who specialized in impersonation and fraud, you can watch Catch Me If You Can, the story of Frank Abagnale’s cat and mouse game with the FBI.