Not all non-actors need be human. “The cinema loves to ennoble animals, to plaster them with emphasis and artificial scenarios,” Denis Côté wrote around the release of his study of the ostriches, lions, horses, zebras, camels, and giraffes at a Quebec safari park. In Bestiaire he looks long and hard at a non-human animals with as little pretense as possible. The results are gripping, varied, and sometimes sad: ponies and giraffes framed against corrugated metal sheets; ostriches staring plaintively out of their pens; a bison meeting and returning the camera’s gaze; a zebra thrashing around its barn. No commentary or framing devices distract from the animals’ performances, or from the shock of the intimacy they create.
This film has no current screenings