The Elephant In The Living Room (2011/Nightfly/First Look Blu-ray)
B- Sound: C+ Extras: B Documentary: B
deserve all the rights and protections they can get, but it takes laws to make
this happen, which is why dogs and cats (for instance) have to be registered
and licensed and bad things happen when they are not. Pit Bull dogs can be so dangerous, it is
amazing that they are not banned to have much stricter rules considering all
the attack stories you hear everyday and the fact that they are abused and
exploited to be “power dogs” used for fights, intimidation and directly
attacking people. Why are they not? Because it turns out hundreds of even more
dangerous exotic animals are not and Michael Webber’s important new documentary
The Elephant In The Living Room
(2011) shows us how this has become a crisis.
tigers, bears, lions, snakes and many other such creatures are remarkably
unlicensed and there are no standards whatsoever on how to handle them. As a result, they have become increasingly a
big business with its own almost-underground economy that can be sold to anyone
of any age!
age? Yes, even 8 year olds can have boa
constricters and venomous snakes as the people who actually know what these
animals are about are a very tiny minority in the U.S. alone versus the crazy market
that has grown dealing in them. This
ranges from people selling them, to people who often do not have the ability to
take care of them trying to keep them failing to fatal attacks. Since this was first screened, the horrid
Ohio incident where a man killed himself and let loose dozens of exotics (in
part because of lack of laws) led to authorities having to “shot-to-kill” most
of them. We meet Tim Harrison in his
crusade to help these animals and see the animals and human victims in this mad
situation that keeps growing into a larger problem.
want to keep selling used the false argument that people with “nothing to do”
are using “fear” to go in and regulate things and Webber shows both sides of
the story and all of its grey area.
Those words simply cannot be trusted.
With more animals needing to be shot to protect people, more animals
being abandoned (which increases breeding of unmanageable exotics and calls for
so many more of them to be killed as their increase also fills up any facility
that could host them) to a record number of attacks on people is all about fact
and not fear. It is just some are in
such denial (starting with thinking wild animals are somehow not wild because
they say so or “understanding” them will make them less harmful) is a big
problem and the Ohio
incident has led to debates about more laws, but the problem is far from
no villains here, just that abuse all around needs to stop before a worst
crisis occurs and Elephant In The Living Room is one of the most timely of
documentaries. As it becomes more
apparent that Mr. Harrison’s outrage is 100% on the money, this program will
turn out to be most prophetic.
1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer is as to be expected when you
mix new HD footage, undercover lower-def footage and analog video (often from
various TV sources) to show viewers what is going on. Editing is usually pretty good and the
overall presentation professional. The
Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is basically in stereo, but some TV audio is mono,
location audio has the expected issues and other scenes have more monophonic
sound as is the case for this kind of documentary.
a Theatrical Trailer, 18 minutes of Deleted Scenes, 48 minutes of Untold
Stories, a featurette called Beyond The
Call and feature length audio commentary by Director Webber.
- Nicholas Sheffo