Posted by: kfugrip | May 6, 2007

horses… horses… horses…

Yes the title of this post is a Patti Smith reference. Zoo, directed by Robinson Devor is a documentary about the events and people surrounding the death of a man from internal bleeding after he had sex with a horse, or rather after the horse had sex with him.

This film is composed of recreations, beautifully shot in the tradition of Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line, First Person), and an ever present voice over and score. The voice over is from the actual people involved in the incident. The man, almost a ring leader character, who owned the farm that held the zoo activities at his farm, with his animals. “Zoo” is short for zoophilia, which is the attraction of a human to another species but not necessarily involving sexual activity. Someone who is zoo claims that bestiality is mare akin to rape while what they do is consensual. The documentary is sympathetic to the victim and his cohorts for the most part. The film tries to avoid judgement of people who have sex with horses or any animal, and the testimony of some of the people involved running over the footage supports that.

This is an interesting, and repellent, subject matter and I had read a few things about the film before viewing it. My expectations were too high perhaps, because I didn’t really like the film. It was beautiful to look at but I guess it was too ephemeral. I longed for a straight documentary approach so I could know what happened and then hear from the players. Instead the film functions with mystery elements for the first half, as the actual incident, “Mr. Hands” death, comes to light. The continuous scoring didn’t help either. There was a mood to the film that was very effective, and aided my enjoyment but I guess I’m not into the gossamer documentary.

Thus #59 gets 2 stars




  1. That is disappointing. I’ll admit, part of me was hoping for a more sensationalistic portrayal.

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