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2.5 out of 4 stars

Title
The Ghosts in Our Machine
Directed by
Liz Marshall
Genre
Documentary
Classification
PG
Country
Canada
Year
2013

Photographer Jo-Anne McArthur specializes in pictures of animals who suffer: in fur and factory farms, pet mills and research facilities. Her mission is to document the conditions under which animals are compelled to live to provide us with largely non-essential stuff, and to make us look them in the eye. Her pictures – many obtained by guerilla-tactic means – are not easy to look at, and in Liz Marshall's largely moving documentary we come to understand that's the point: Once we begin to empathize with these animals, we can't ignore them quite so easily. Marshall's documentary is clearly in full concurrence with McArthur's project, but the movie begs for a larger context: Where does this work fit in with the history of advocacy photojournalism? How effective is it? And what is its role in the larger history of the animal rights movement?

April 28, 6:30 p.m., Bloor; May 1, 11 a.m., Bader; May 4, 11 a.m., Bloor.

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