8.4/10
497
10 user 21 critic

The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013)

A cinematic documentary that illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Video

2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A young man begins investigating the underworld of "factory farming" and soon discovers a growing political and intellectual movement that considers animals as important as humans.

Director: Mark Devries
Stars: Steven Best, Richard Dawkins, Gary Francione
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home explores the powerful struggle of conscience experienced by several people from traditional farming backgrounds who come to question the basic ... See full summary »

Director: Jenny Stein
Stars: Harold Brown, Cheri Ezell-Vandersluis, Howard Lyman
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Live and Let Live is a feature documentary examining our relationship with animals, the history of veganism and the ethical, environmental and health reasons that move people to go vegan. ... See full summary »

Director: Marc Pierschel
Stars: Aaron Adams, Jonathan Balcombe, T. Colin Campbell
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Meat the Truth is a high-profile documentary which forms an addendum to earlier films on climate change. Although such films have succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of ... See full summary »

Directors: Karen Soeters, Gertjan Zwanikken
Stars: Pamela Anderson, Elaine Hendrix, Bill Maher
Vegucated (2011)
Documentary | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Vegucated is a guerrilla-style documentary that follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks and learn what it's all about. They have no ... See full summary »

Director: Marisa Miller Wolfson
Stars: Marisa Miller Wolfson, Chloe Davis, Cody Tarlow
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods.

Director: Lee Fulkerson
Stars: Lee Fulkerson, Matthew Lederman, Alona Pulde
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

A documentary that systematically challenges the common human belief that humans are superior to other life forms. The documentary reveals the absurdity of this belief while exploding human... See full summary »

Director: Samuel McAnallen
Stars: Steven Best, Nick Gylaw, Bernard Rollin
Earthlings (2005)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Using hidden cameras and never-before-seen footage, Earthlings chronicles the day-to-day practices of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely entirely on animals for profit.

Director: Shaun Monson
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix
Unity (2015)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Despite the advent of science, literature, technology, philosophy, religion, and so on -- none of these has assuaged humankind from killing one another, the animals, and nature. UNITY is a ... See full summary »

Director: Shaun Monson
Stars: Aaron Paul, Adam Levine, Adrian Grenier
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A comical fast paced feature documentary, that questions the health benefits of milk.

Director: Shira Lane
Stars: T.C. Campbell, James LeQuang, Jennifer Ricciardi
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.

Directors: Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn
Stars: Lisa Agabian, Manucher Alemi, Lindsey Allen
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Master filmmaker Steve Kroschel, intrigued by a stunning statement from his last documentary, sets out to find hard evidence of the effectiveness of the Gerson Therapy, a long-suppressed ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Kroschel
Stars: Stephen Barret, T. Colin Campbell, Carolyn Dean
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Jo-Anne McArthur ...
Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jonathan Balcombe ...
Himself - Author, Humane Society University
Gieri Bolliger ...
Himself - Attorney, Director of the Foundation for the Animal in the Law (as Dr. Gieri Bolliger)
Theodora Capaldo ...
Herself - President and Executive Director, New England Anti-Vivisection Society (as Dr. Theodora Capaldo)
Susie Coston ...
Herself - National Shelter Director, Farm Sanctuary
Melanie Dion-Eadon ...
Herself - Maggie and Abbey's Guardians
Mark Eadon ...
Himself - Maggie and Abbey's Guardians
Bruce Friedrich ...
Himself - Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary
Antoine F. Goetschel ...
Himself - Animal Welfare Attorney, Founder of the Foundation for the Animal in the Law
...
Herself - Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University Designer of Livestock Handling Equipment
Marcus ...
Himself - Investigator
Lori Reese ...
Herself - Redux Pictures
Martin Rowe ...
Himself - Co-Founder, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief, Lantern Books
Marcel Saba ...
Himself - Agent for Redux Pictures
...
Herself - Philosopher, Environmental Activist, Author, Eco Feminist
Edit

Storyline

THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, audiences become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. From undercover investigations to joyful rescue missions, in North America and in Europe, each photograph and story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE charts McArthur's efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid. Written by Liz Marshall

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duchy wielkiej machiny  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$8,756 (USA) (8 November 2013)

Gross:

$20,344 (USA) (6 December 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV) (2014)

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

For the Ghosts See more »

Soundtracks

Give Up The Ghost
By Radiohead
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Animals On Our Screen
27 April 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Ghosts is a film that offers the hope of attracting those who care and those who don't, a documentary that will embolden the converted while likely influencing more to join the choir (or at least check out the song book). It is a documentary that refuses to preach, instead opting for a beautifully constructed homage to the rest of our kingdom, spilling over with a unique and thoughtful cordiality that is born out of unmitigable love, respect and understanding.

The documentary is a refreshing departure from its more rational-minded predecessors that throw facts and data at us while barraging audiences with violent sounds and images of slaughter and torture. Ghosts instead confronts with the unforgettable grace of animals many of us so easily shut out from our daily thoughts, as industrial capitalism distantly spins its cogs of exploitation on farms, in labs and factories and abattoirs.

These are the ghosts – the winged, the four-legged and the otherwise objectified and disgraced cousins gasping for life below us on the commodity/food chain.

Marshall doesn't throw the sixties wrench into the cogs of the machine, screaming from a mantle of righteousness that what we are doing is morally, ethically, ecologically wrong. Instead, she introduces proximal empathy into the abysmal space between consumers and capital with a powerful effect that hits both the mind and heart with an enduring resonance.

Through the various actions and efforts of the very talented and committed photographer Jo-Anne McArthur the film quietly sneaks into the obscured and horrific spaces of mink farms and other places where animals have had their essence as sentient beings barbarically debased into commodity form, lingering just long enough to occlude forgetting.

Both the photographs and cinematography in the film are stunning, and viewing on a small screen should be avoided – Ghosts is a visual delight, despite the sometimes difficult scenes that unfold. A confident direction shines through in this skilfully shot and tightly edited doc that is also audibly adorned with an awesome score and soundscape. The beauty of the film's artifice somehow does not aestheticize suffering, nor create Hallmark images of the animals documented – instead the richness of sound and images helps us through tough spaces, punctuating moments we might otherwise wish to shut out or alternately, not have registered as worthy of contemplation.

Yet we do not spend too much time in the most violent of animal oppression spaces, and by focusing on the beauty and individuality of the many animals (who have names and personalities) that McArthur documents, including and crucially the relationships between committed humans and the broken and discarded, Ghosts brings us in close and personal and squeezes tight.

It's a warm and inviting embrace that the film offers, one that builds empathy for these creatures over its 90 minutes, and it doesn't relinquish after the closing credits.

I didn't feel yelled at or schooled, but I do feel implicated and educated. To the benefit of Marshall and others who worked on this film (and by extension, to McArthur) those feelings of implication and elucidation are wrapped in beauty, love and understanding.

If I sound warm and fuzzy it's because this film's compassion and sensitivity are comforting sensations that just might be the right mixture needed to deliver a documentary on animal rights that transcends the earlier discussed divide and invites everyone in without compromising its politics, while not shutting out others, in spite of its politics.


18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page