Zoo (1961) Poster


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sumantra roy18 July 2013
Like other important documentary works of Burt Haanstra, Zoo(1962) also has a very significant musical score. Music, as in all his films I have seen, drives the editing. And in Zoo, that makes it very refreshing. The shots used of the zoo animals as well as those of the human beings are truly amazing. The moments created, the stories told, the behaviors captured are all done with an immaculate precision. Editing is done with a huge length of footage that he gathered by keeping hidden cameras inside and outside the cages, and after seeing the film one realizes that it would have been impossible to have such shots without the help of hidden cameras. The subject, well, very simple, after seeing the film it becomes difficult to say whether the animals outside the cage are more amusing or the ones inside it. An amazingly entertaining documentary of 10 minutes, worth watching a hundred times.
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Prismark107 September 2017
This ten minutes amusing short was filmed at Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam by noted Dutch documentary filmmaker Bert Haanstra.

It really begs the question as to who is watching who as we the human spectators gawp at the animals, Haanstra used hidden cameras in the cages to catch human behaviour as they gaze at the animals. Yet the animals are probably bemused as to the people paying attention to them, especially the baboons.

Through humorous use of music and precision editing we see at times that both the animals and humans were not so unlike.

This whimsical short was nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Short film.
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