Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Ghosts in Our Machine

By all accounts, this is a wonderful film. Here’s an interview with Liz Marshall, the director, and the woman at the film’s center, photographer Jo-Anne McArthur. Ashley Capps describes The Ghosts:
The film explores the lives of individual animals living within, and rescued from, the mechanized prison of our modern world. Through the heart and lens of acclaimed animal photographer McArthur, we become intimately familiar with an unforgettable cast of animal subjects. Each story and photograph is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. The film asks the question: Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?

…Jo-Anne writes: “I’m a story-teller by nature, and the camera is a great tool for story-gathering. After a few years of shooting random stories … I learned that I could use this amazing tool, the camera, for social change, and I could also combine my two loves – taking photos, and helping animals – to help make the world a better place.” This means that in her photos, Jo-Anne doesn’t just document cruelty to animals, she helps viewers connect with the animals by showing them as individuals, with individual faces, bodies, and stories.

…[E]ven when we don’t get the full story, we connect with the animals as individuals through the powerful personalizing details McArthur carefully emphasizes: the breath-taking eyelashes on a doomed veal calf; the intimate gesture of a spray-painted pig in a slaughter truck resting her head on the back of another pig; the mix of bravery and terror in the eyes of a caged raccoon as she uses her body to cover the babies she is so desperate and helpless to protect....
Following a successful fundraising effort, The Ghosts in Our Machine opens tomorrow in New York (Ernest Hardy at the Village Voice calls it “utterly engrossing”) and Los Angeles, and later in San Francisco and Chicago. Here’s some information about the theatrical openings, surrounding events, and how you can support the film.

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