Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moving Animals: Spectacular Animal Films (Part 2)

3. The Animals Film (Beyond the Frame 1981, 137min)

To my knowledge, The Animals Film was the first documentary to me made on the animal protection movement and the first to be aired on public television--an amazing feat given that it was released just 6 years after the publication of Animal Liberation, 1 year after Henry Spira's ad campaign against Revlon, 2 years before The Case for Animal Rights, and 3 years before Unnecessary Fuss. Filmed in the United States by an Israeli and released in England, TAF had been the most comprehensive film on animal welfare up until the release of Earthlings 16 years later. Yet, despite its age, sadly, little has changed since its release except that industry practices and problems have increased in magnitude and extended into other countries. (In 1980, about 5 billion animals were slaughtered in America annually compared to nearly 9 billion by 2000). In fact, it is my opinion that despite the praise for Earthlings and the absence of knowledge about this film, TAF is better. (Whether it is more effective at recruiting vegans--Earthlings supposedly is nicknamed "the Vegan maker"--, that is for empirical studies to determine).

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