2007-05-04 La beauté dans la bête: un zoo pour adultes (EN)
Beauty in the Beast: An Adults-Only Zoo
Concerned Women for America ^ | 5/2/07 | Heather Hogue
Face it. With the exception of March of the Penguins, few of us actually head to our local Blockbuster to rent a documentary. Most of us want to watch something a little lighter; something that doesn't really add more to our overly stressful lives. We want to laugh and we want to relate. Nothing more. I have thought about this on several occasions, and each time, I experience pangs of guilt for not using my free time to better educate myself. But today is a new day, and after reading David Ansen's review of "Zoo" in Newsweek, I have come to the conclusion that education is entirely subjective and completely overrated.
The word "zoo" typically refers to a place you take your kids on Saturday. In the "fabulous" world of cinematics, however, it is actually a movie about zoophiles: men who find emotional and physical gratification through interspecies sex. Director Robinson Devor, along with his writing partner Charles Mudede, got their inspiration from a man in Washington who died in 2005 of internal bleeding after having sex with a stallion. Apparently, the state has a large number of zoophiles due to the lack of laws against bestiality. Because the state was unable to issue anything other than minor charges towards the other men involved, the animal was castrated as a form of punishment.
The filmmaker, appalled by the public's moralistic outcries, was determined to try and "understand" the mindset of such individuals and decided to interview the actual members involved. He claimed to be "shocked that nobody did an in-depth look at this, that there was no investigative reporting rounding the story out with the psychology involved. I thought, 'This is an opportunity.'" Devor even went so far as to agree with the Roman writer Terence who said, "I consider nothing human alien to me." The filmmaker said, "It happens, so it's part of who we are."
There is a smorgasbord of incomprehensible wrongs here: from the director's barbaric take on the truth behind this nightmare, to its premier at the Sundance Film Festival, and to the people who applaud him. Equally disturbing - or maybe even more so - is Mr. Ansen's review. He opens the column with this gem: "If you were to watch Robinson Devor's 'Zoo' with no sound, it might take you a long time to realize that the subject of this eerily beautiful movie is bestiality." He also comments that it has a "disturbingly lyrical spell."
In a society where we have so much freedom, it can sometimes be hard to know where to draw the line - but there is a line. Devon's film has definitely opened Pandora's Box of wrongs. Oh, and dear Mr. Ansen, shame on you! Condoning such repugnant immorality only encourages it. Documentaries are intended to educate. If this "education" is indicative of what is to come, I am certain I will be on a documentary diet for a long time.