When Chris Lucash was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 53, he and his wife Alisa and their three young children moved to a community where they and their neighbors could make a place for his dying and death.
A few years earlier, filmmaker Jeff Mittelstadt had begun documenting Chris’ life work. As a federal biologist, Chris had worked for nearly 30 years to reintroduce endangered red wolves into the wild. When he began, zero existed outside of captivity; under his program, red wolf numbers in the wild rose to about 130 before the program was undercut by political controversy. During those years in the field, Chris was exposed to the toxins of industrial agriculture that may have caused the disease that would claim his life.
The day after his diagnosis, Chris and Alisa and Jeff began to make Staring Down Fate, a feature-length documentary that brings us into the intertwined stories of the endangered red wolf and Chris’ journey towards death.