Monday, February 29, 2016

From Suffering to Satori Film 2/20/16

On February 20th I went to see this animal rights movie made by a local filmmaker. The event was hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministries , a passionate group of folks who are very active here in PDX.  What struck me most was the focus on the plight of elephants in the Portland Zoo, a place I have fond memories from growing up here my whole life. However, after going vegan I realized on a much deeper level the true despair present in  animals kept in captivity, especially those like the massive and highly intelligent elephants. Packy has spent over 50 years in this one zoo...while the world has passed him by....such a tragic story.

From FaceBook Event  

The question that drove Courtney Scott to produce, write and direct her first feature film, “From Suffering to Satori,” was how do we justify the pain we inflict on other species? This film tracks one woman’s pursuit for answers to this perplexing question. More than just another film about animal rights, “From Suffering to Satori” challenges our most deeply-held convictions about our relationship with animals and our pervasive dominance over all creatures, great and small.

“From Suffering to Satori” takes us on Scott's journey of discovery, where along the way we learn about how animal industries often rationalize their treatment and confinement of animals. For instance, as one zookeeper justifies it: “In many ways, elephants are not that much different from people. If you didn’t make them walk, they would prefer to be essentially couch potatoes.” An attorney who filed a lawsuit against a zoo counters that: “Elephants in a 100 ft. square area that have nothing to do are no different than elephants in a 1 acre or 2 acre area. They still have nothing to do.”

Scott's gentle approach succeeds where other films of this nature may not—by slowly and carefully peeling back layers of often hidden truths, using a soft narrative voice to describe harsh realities. The brutal, sad and sometimes heart-warming stories Scott portrays will resonate with audiences long after the final credits roll. This film doesn't demand a reaction, but instead invites viewers to draw their own conclusions and make their own choices on animal rights—even if it's a small step, to ease animal suffering.

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