OTTAWA’S HOME OF INTERNATIONAL AND INDEPENDENT MOVIES

The Ghosts In Our Machine

Photographer Jo-Anne McArthur will attend all three screenings and participate in Q&A sessions

Image from the documentary The Ghosts In Our MachineHumans have cleverly separated animals into three categories: domestic pets, wildlife and the ghosts in our machine. The latter are those animals who suffer at the helm of global industries. This film follows internationally renowned photographer Jo-Anne McArthur as she travels around the world documenting the lives of these animals.

Caged foxes, lab monkeys and beagles bred for research are just some of the ghosts Jo-Anne encounters on her journey. Part investigation and part art project, her goal is to change the way we view our relationships with animals. ‘I’m not there to liberate them, I’m there to document them,’ she says. ‘As much as I’d like to liberate them from their cages, my role is to educate people so there won’t be future generations of these animals.’

Although careful not to evoke individual guilt, Jo-Anne’s photos are as disturbing as they are beautiful. The Ghosts In Our Machine makes it clear that the human/animal relationship is, indeed, the next big hurdle in our social and moral development. Avoiding the typical handheld camera activist aesthetic, the images are patient, simply resting on the eyes of each animal that Jo-Anne encounters. Beautifully composed photographs and the minimal score allow for a filmic space much needed to reflect on the question haunting our collective conscience. Animals: property or sentient beings?

– Selina Crammond, DOXA Documentary Film Festival
 

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