Sundance 2007 Review – Zoo

Just when you thought I couldn’t possibly write any more about Sundance. Here’s a guest review from Darianna Cardilli.

    Let’s face it: every year at Sundance there’s a shocking documentary – a televised gangbang, fraternity rape cases, etc. which earn it the moniker “Shockdance”. So when I read in theprogram that there was a doc about a man who had died from having sex with a horse, out came my highlighter. I will admit it I was intrigued and ready to be shocked. Alas, ZOO was not at all what I expected, nor all that shocking. Which is not to say it was disappointing. On the contrary, it was a beautiful, mesmerizing and nearly hypnotic discourse on the relationship between man and nature. Artfully crafted with stunning cinematography and a wistful score, the film is a 100% reenactment using audio interviews from some of the key figures in the incident. Apparently bestiality is not a crime in Washington State. Nor do the members of the zoophile community interviewed display any remorse for their actions or sexual preferences, (only regretful that a friend of theirs died from a perforated colon and that their activities were unmasked). Tired of judgmental human beings, they feel animals are more accepting (no need for the travails of dating or choosing the right restaurant apparently) and they see their fetish as just a love for animals, except it’s more ‘eros’ than ‘agape’. For the rest of us who love horses, but not quite in that manner, it was haunting and upsetting. Executed without any judgment, it’s an excellent example of how to portray a ‘villain’s ‘ point of view with kindness. It is only when operating room footage of a gelding of a stallion is shown that the full impact of these actions comes home, and the horror sinks in. ZOO is unsatisfying only in a voyeuristic sense. If it’s titillation you’re looking for, you’ll have to dredge the dark bowels of the Internet.

zoo still 12
Man loves horse in ZOO.

ZOO is playing at the upcoming True/False Film Festival in Columbia, MO.

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