Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Saving America's Horses: A Nation Betrayed

This impassioned if scattershot documentary highlights the dangers and moral failings in the slaughter of horses both wild and domestic.

Dec 4, 2012

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368798-Saving_Horses_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

You won’t attend a horse race again with the same lighthearted spirit after seeing Saving America’s Horses: A Nation Betrayed. This impassioned if somewhat overloaded documentary by self-described “lifelong horsewoman” Katia Louise forcefully exposes the frequently horrific fates suffered by horses both wild and domestic, as well as burros, when they are no longer useful or wanted.

Frequently slaughtered for consumption in Europe, their inhumane treatment as revealed here will surely prompt outrage among animal lovers as well as those concerned with health and environmental issues.

Featuring ardent testimony from numerous concerned figures as well as graphic footage that’s often painful to watch, the film takes no prisoners in its damning indictment of the political, corporate and government interests involved in the wholesale slaughter of the creatures. Unlike with cattle and chickens, there are few regulations over the process, with the result that the animals are often severely mistreated. Humans don’t fare well either, with the nefarious complications including the contamination of water and land, and horsemeat, not generally intended for consumption, frequently containing harmful chemicals.

Narrating the film herself, director Louise reveals her cinematic inexperience with a sometimes jumbled presentation of information overload including littering the screen with more text content than even cable-television news broadcasts. She also indulges in audience pandering via the inclusion of interviews with numerous celebrities with sometimes tenuous connections to the issue. These include Michael Blake, author of the book and screenplay Dances with Wolves, as well as Willie Nelson, Linda Gray, Tippi Hedren, Ken Wahl and a teary-eyed Paul Sorvino.

Still, there’s no denying the film’s emotional impact, abetted by the endlessly photogenic quality of its ill-fated equine subjects. Even urban viewers who’ve never seen a wild horse in their lives will find themselves wondering what will eventually become of the handsome steed leading their carriage through Central Park.
The Hollywood Reporter


Film Review: Saving America's Horses: A Nation Betrayed

This impassioned if scattershot documentary highlights the dangers and moral failings in the slaughter of horses both wild and domestic.

Dec 4, 2012

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1368798-Saving_Horses_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

You won’t attend a horse race again with the same lighthearted spirit after seeing Saving America’s Horses: A Nation Betrayed. This impassioned if somewhat overloaded documentary by self-described “lifelong horsewoman” Katia Louise forcefully exposes the frequently horrific fates suffered by horses both wild and domestic, as well as burros, when they are no longer useful or wanted.

Frequently slaughtered for consumption in Europe, their inhumane treatment as revealed here will surely prompt outrage among animal lovers as well as those concerned with health and environmental issues.

Featuring ardent testimony from numerous concerned figures as well as graphic footage that’s often painful to watch, the film takes no prisoners in its damning indictment of the political, corporate and government interests involved in the wholesale slaughter of the creatures. Unlike with cattle and chickens, there are few regulations over the process, with the result that the animals are often severely mistreated. Humans don’t fare well either, with the nefarious complications including the contamination of water and land, and horsemeat, not generally intended for consumption, frequently containing harmful chemicals.

Narrating the film herself, director Louise reveals her cinematic inexperience with a sometimes jumbled presentation of information overload including littering the screen with more text content than even cable-television news broadcasts. She also indulges in audience pandering via the inclusion of interviews with numerous celebrities with sometimes tenuous connections to the issue. These include Michael Blake, author of the book and screenplay Dances with Wolves, as well as Willie Nelson, Linda Gray, Tippi Hedren, Ken Wahl and a teary-eyed Paul Sorvino.

Still, there’s no denying the film’s emotional impact, abetted by the endlessly photogenic quality of its ill-fated equine subjects. Even urban viewers who’ve never seen a wild horse in their lives will find themselves wondering what will eventually become of the handsome steed leading their carriage through Central Park.
The Hollywood Reporter
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Tracks
Film Review: Tracks

Ably supported by Adam Driver, Mia Wasikowska commands the screen in John Curran’s superbly photographed drama based on a true story. More »

Hollidaysburg
Film Review: Hollidaysburg

Well-observed, empathetic look at friends reuniting over their first college break. More »

The Zero Theorem
Film Review: The Zero Theorem

A noisy, hyperkinetic, visually gorgeous spectacle that tackles the mother of all big questions–the meaning of life—Terry Gilliam's latest is sometimes frustrating and occasionally outright goofy, but it's never dull. More »

Art and Craft
Film Review: Art and Craft

Documentary portrait of the artist as a disturbed man, but one who is overwhelmingly endearing, functioning and talented—and whose métier happens to be art forgery. This smartly produced and constructed art-themed art-house entry delivers a canvas of caper, comedy and delightful curiosities that engage and provoke some serious thought. Like the hero’s forgeries, it deserves a close look. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

The Maze Runner
Film Review: The Maze Runner

Youths try to break out of a deadly maze in the latest young-adult doomsday thriller. More »

This is Where I Leave You
Film Review: This Is Where I Leave You

Siblings bond, fight and face new problems after the death of their father in an ensemble dramedy based on the best-selling novel. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here