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The documentary "Zoo": exploitive?

 
 
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 08:26 pm
I watched the documentary "Zoo" today and I thought the movie did more to sensationalize the story than all the news coverage of the actual event did.

They condemned all the news coverage for not explaining what it was really all about but I didn't think they did, or really even tried to explain it, either, which was the supposed motive of the film makers.

I live not too far from where it all happened so I remember it being in the news and it was extrememly sensational. I can't begin to imagine how they got some of those people to participate in the making of this "documentary".

What did you think of "Zoo"? Did you think it was just more sensationalism?

Please note: don't go watch this movie, it's really boring and doesn't reveal any new information about a subject that most people find terribly offensive.
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Type: Question • Score: 4 • Views: 2,984 • Replies: 16
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Merry Andrew
 
  2  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 08:40 pm
@boomerang,
That post would make a whole lot more sense to me, Boomer, if I had some idea what this documentary is about. You live not too far from where all what happened? Not only I haven't seen the movie; I have no idea what real-life event the movie is based on or what you're talking about.

I wonder if there are any other A2kers in the same boat as I.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 08:41 pm
@Merry Andrew,
yup...
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 09:17 pm
@Rockhead,
Its like some post that states "Whats the answer to the puzzle on page 33".

I felt so stupid and then so fully validated. I thought only spendi talked with himself .
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Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 09:21 pm
@Merry Andrew,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoo_(film)
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Jun, 2009 09:29 pm
I've was being evasive on purpose.

I didn't really want to bring the topic of the fim into discussion, but really the film itself.

I had read some good reviews of the movie, along the lines of the wiki article Robert linked, but I didn't see the fim that way at all. I thought it was really just more sensationalism presented in an extrememly muted format.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 12:59 am
@boomerang,
I see that this movie will have an amount of interest that is inversely proportional to the distance from the site of the occurence. Its like the movie of the old guy from New Hampshire that decided to drive his tractor across the US, there is not much one can say that churns up much interest South of Nashua.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 10:38 am
@farmerman,
Maybe. I certainly was big news when it happened.

At one point in the movie someone asks "Since when does CNN send helicopters to cover and accidental death?" I think that's a pretty interesting question. And it's yet another question that isn't answered in the movie.

I was just curious if anyone else saw it as exploitive since every review and article about the film makes a big deal about how it isn't exploitive. I think there is an element of exploitation in every documentary but more so in "Zoo" than others.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 11:07 am
@boomerang,
What Farmermman said. It may have been big news in the Pacific Northwest. I don't recall reading anything about it in the NYTimes or Boston Globe. (Oh, there may have been a one-paragraph report somewhere on the inside pages, the language well disguised so that no reader really understands what caused the peritonitis or why it's even a valid news story.) Strictly local interest.
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 12:39 pm
@boomerang,
I haven't seen the film, boomerang. Some filmmakers, though, seem to be looking for a new taboo to violate. This may be an instance of someone trying to be "groundbreaking."
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 02:05 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

What did you think of "Zoo"? Did you think it was just more sensationalism?

Please note: don't go watch this movie, it's really boring and doesn't reveal any new information about a subject that most people find terribly offensive.


I hadn't heard about that either.

However, you want to know what we think of Zoo, but at the same time tell us not to go watch the movie.

How are we supposed to know if it's sensationalism or not?
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 02:59 pm
My question was addressed to people who had already seen the movie. I thought I was clear on that but I guess not.

A2K has a pretty large membership, I thought someone had probably seen it and might care to comment on my observation.

I don't reccommend the movie. It isn't obscene or anything but it is really a terribly boring, non-informative documentary about something a lot of people will find very offensive.

I thought it was strange that I thought it was so exploitive. After watching it I went back and read some of the reviews I remembered from when the movie came out and was surprised to see "nonexploitive" be used over and over again to describe it.
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 03:35 pm
@boomerang,
boomerang wrote:

I was just curious if anyone else saw it as exploitive since every review and article about the film makes a big deal about how it isn't exploitive. I think there is an element of exploitation in every documentary but more so in "Zoo" than others.


So, how was it explotive? Or offensive?

I get that you say it was boring, no obscene things shown, not worth viewing....but if you were going to see the movie, you already knew what the subject matter was going to be. How could you be offended if you know up front what happened?
Who do you feel it was exploiting?

Maybe I'll rent it so I can see what you mean.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 06:37 pm
@chai2,
Really, save an hour and a half and don't see it.

I love documentaries. Given the choice of what to watch on TV I'll choose a documentary every time. This is currently showing on the Sundance channel and I remembered the incident so I decided to watch it.

I think a documentary should shed some light on it's subject and this one didn't. I wanted to understand what zoophilia is. As I understood it, zoophilia is not necessarily about sex so I wanted to know how it differed from anyone who claims to love their pet more than people. I wanted to understand the compulsion of someone who would travel across the country in order to have a "loving, emotional" relationship with a horse they'd never met. I wanted to know if it was really true that they sent people money so they could visit the farm or if people paid for their visits. I wanted to know the psychology behind their desires. I wanted to know why CNN would send a helicopter to cover an accidental death. I wanted to know how someone's idea of a "loving, caring" relationship morphed into getting drunk with a bunch of guys and letting a horse penetrate you anally while someone video taped it. I wanted to know if they were selling the tapes and thats how they got the money to entice people to visit.

Those are a few of the questions I expected the film to address since it was billed as a documentary.

Since the fim didn't address any of this I thought the film maker exploited a sensational headline for some purpose other than making a document of any sort.

I also really wondered how they got the actual people involved in the incident to appear in the film. I imagine they told them they would get a chance to explain so that zoophiles could come out of the closet and talk about their desires. Instead they come out looking like beautifully lit and photographed sleezeballs who dropped their friend off at the hospital anonymously rather than explain what happened and then ran home to try to hide all the tapes, CDs and computer files -- not quite the actions of someone who claims they have no shame about having a horse as a boyfriend. In short, I think the men who appeared in the fim were exploited by the film makers who convinced them to be in the movie but wouldn't let them talk on camera.

Maybe when the film first came out seemed nonexploitive, compared to the media circus surrounding the story.

This wasn't a local story. It was a huge story. CNN and all the major networks covered it. The film has blips of Limbaugh, et al bleating about it. The fact that nobody even remembers the incident makes the movie seem even more exploitive.

I will say the film is beautifully photographed. Really pretty to look at. Turn off the sound on the TV and put on some cool, mellow music and it can be a beautiful meditation on the quality of light in the Pacific Northwest.

Anyway.....

Maybe it's just me.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 07:03 pm
@boomerang,
You are correct, boomerang, it was more than just a local news story. In 2005, A2K had a thread that ran about five pages on that story. I remember Diane calling people who did that sort of thing "idiots." Gus posted immediately after Diane and said: "Who are you calling an idiot?"
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 07:13 pm
@wandeljw,
I think you're right about the film makers trying to be groundbreaking, wandel.

The film was tarted up for the arthouse crowd who probably wouldn't criticise it in any way for fear of looking small minded.

Did you ever see the movie "Pecker"? Johnny Depp plays a photographer who the arthouse crowd adores until he turns his camera on them. Hilarious.

That's what this films reviews reminded me of.

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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Jul, 2009 07:15 pm
@boomerang,
ah...I see now.

yeah, I'd like the answer to all those questions too.

you never know, could be your neighbor, co-worker...anyone.
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