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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
Beautiful: See what a photographer does with her one wild and precious life
This beautifully told tale follows photographer Jo-Anne McArthur as she takes photos of individual animals used for entertainment, fashion, food, and research and seeks to bring her work to a wider audience.
It's the story of one woman following her calling and passion. She sees herself as a war photographer. She wants to save the world. Her work as a
McArthur's clear counterculture mission is animal liberation. The film follows her vision of animals as sentient beings who deserve to live their own lives for those lives' sake, not as as means to human ends. She documents animals' confinement and suffering.
It's an intriguing vision and watchable filled with gorgeous cinematography and many soulful eyes (sometimes filled with confusion and pain, but the film also shows images of animals at peace and pleasure).
This is director Liz Marshall's first animal rights film and she said after watching many other films in the genre she purposefully chose to steer away from more graphic images. It's often visually pleasing and even funny. Even so, it's overall effect is heart-wrenching.
Much of the film's power comes from its juxtaposition of images that contrast McArthur's conscious awareness of animal interests with the general disregard and commoditization of animals displayed in the dominant culture.
McArthur works to document and bring to light what industries take great pains to hide — the abuse of animals behind their products. She seeks to stimulate people's natural affinity with and compassion for animals to change these cruel systems.
Therefore, the film has a keen awareness of the animal origin (and the lives injured and cruel systems behind) products commonly seen and displayed while walking down a city street.
It's a perspective worth considering and a film worth watching.
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