Petting Zoo (2015) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Layla, a young 17 year old school girl, is just like any other. She's bright, comfortable with her body and surroundings but like most girls her age, she does not know what to do with her life, or even boys for that matter. When Layla becomes pregnant her parents refuse the option of an abortion, thus resulting in her keeping the baby. How will this impact Layla and those around her?


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  • Following the director's own experiences as a teenager in South Texas (the title refers to her own commute at the time) the phenomenon of San Antonio having the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the US is desiccated through the eyes of Layla (Devon Keller), who on the cusp of graduating from high school discovers her own pregnancy and tries to cope with the many challenges connected to the triple change of leaving the familiarity of being in high school, living with her family and staying in her home town. The fact that Layla's family belongs to the poorer parts of the society (illustrated by their living condition in a junk sale and having to share telephone and black-and-white television) serves as background rather than an explanation for her predicament as her estrangement from her parents (she lives with her grandmother most of the time) leaves her in a kind of legal limbo. Under Texas law she cannot get an abortion without the consent of her parents, so she must approach them even though she clearly doesn't want to be near them and actually runs away after father denies her his permission. Eventually, she must make the decisions on her own as everybody she turns to turns away.

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