Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bold Native

I posted about a week ago about a movie that was screening in NYC called Bold Native. I went to the Monday screening (and hope you did too) and I'm finally here to review it for you.

You NEED to see this movie. It was so well done. I hear that it was made for almost no money which makes this even more impressive. This is a fictional movie about the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). If you don't know anything about the ALF this is their mission statement: To effectively allocate resources (time and money) to end the "property" status of nonhuman animals. This often takes the form of actions that are illegal such as destruction of property and liberation of animals. You can decide for yourself what you think of these illegal actions. What you do have to say is that the ALF takes action that you and I do not in our daily lives. I posted a while ago about animal testing and how horrible and unnecessary it is. The ALF agrees on that point. I may participate in protests, but they go in and liberate the poor, suffering animals locked in cages.

Bold Native is about animal liberators. It is the story of Charlie Cranehill, a regular guy who thinks animal exploitation is wrong (just like you and me) and decides to do something about it. Charlie's ALF cell is called Bold Native. The movie expertly weaves together real footage of animal liberations from labs and fictional footage of our hero participating in animal liberations. Charlie gets ratted out by a fellow liberator who gets caught and goes underground to avoid the FBI. In case you do not know, our government has decided that animal liberators are the number one domestic terrorist threat here in the USofA, even though no human or animal has ever been injured by the ALF. Ever. To me that shows just how the government feels about it's citizens. If you have money, you have power. Animal testing facilities, pharmaceutical companies, animal agriculture, they own the government and the government is happy to protect them in anyway possible. Like passing the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA). Harsher penalties for the same crimes. If I was some random crazy person and burned down a building I would not be charged as a terrorist, but if I am an animal liberator and burn down an animal testing lab (after removing all the animals, obviously) I will be put away for years as a terrorist. This is a tactic used to silence us as activists. It does not silence Charlie Cranehill. He is a smart guy who understands the consequences and decides he has to help the helpless anyway. There is a quote towards the end of the movie that I really loved: "Bold Native is not a person. It's an idea - that animals are not property. They are not ours to use. They are an end unto themselves. Their freedom is beautiful, and their slavery is a horror." Amen.
MollyG and Joaquin Pastor who plays Charlie Cranehill in Bold Native
I recommend that you go on the Bold Native website and beg them to do a showing near you. You will not regret it. I hear that the writer/director and producer are trying to get Bold Native shown on college campuses and on Netflix. Please email them here and ask them to do those things. It would be a mistake for you to miss an opportunity to see this film, and an even bigger mistake if the general public never gets a chance. I saw it once surrounded by vegans and animal activists. I wish I could get another chance to take my non-vegan friends and family. I sent Bold Native an email saying just that. The movie was witty, funny, charming, sad, horrifying, and most of all moving. And critical. People really do think that animal activists like members of the ALF are terrorists. This movie gives a face to a faceless movement. A movement that needs us to speak up. The animals need us to speak up.

Note: I just got an email back from Denis Hennelly, the writer/director of the film. This is what he said about future showings: "Thanks for the encouragement.  We'll definitely try to set up another NY screening.  We've been talking to BAM and we've got plans for a college tour too.  And we're gonna try to get the film onto dvd in the next month or two.  We're also working on netflix and itunes." Keep your eyes out!!