Liz Marshall’s exposé of the plight of animals in modern society made its debut at Hot Docs this Spring. It went on to screen at DOXA, Planete+ Doc, DMZ Docs, and the upcoming IDFA and Planet in Focus fests, among others. It expands to Los Angeles’ Laemmle’s Music Hall next week.
I previously wrote about the doc out of Hot Docs for Indiewire saying:
The “ghosts” in Liz Marshall’s film are various animals, used by humans for food, clothing, or research, as captured by documentary photographer Jo-Anne McArthur as part of her advocacy work to force us to confront our beliefs about animal sentience and rights. Making her way, often clandestinely, into factory farms and other sites of what she views as animal exploitation, McArthur bears witness through the haunting still photographs she takes of deplorable conditions and frightened creatures – but she faces an uphill battle to find a mass audience for her work, since it is too disturbing for most magazine editors. That’s exactly her point, to provoke the viewer into empathizing with the various species on display – from dairy cows condemned to death after just a couple of years of milking, to minks raised in sparse cells for their fur. As a needed counterpoint in an often disturbing film, Marshall shows McArthur in more peaceful surroundings in a farm sanctuary in upstate New York which takes in abused animals and often saves others from unnecessary death. Marshall succeeds in creating a portrait of a driven activist that shies away from outright polemics to perhaps preach beyond the converted.