Thursday, November 06, 2008

Especially for Nikolai - a late review of ZOO - an intelligent look at inter-species erotica

One of Nikolai's favourite arguments is to question why bestiality is illegal. Why should it be illegal for you to pleasure, say, a cow? "Oh, but the cow can't consent!" I hear you cry. But Nikolai would respond that the cow can't consent to being killed and eaten either. So why is it worse to pleasure a cow than to kill it? Is society being hypocritical or at least inconsistent in its attitude to different types of human-animal relations? Finally, Nikolai gets a documentary that makes his case. It's intelligent, sophisticated, and extremely careful not to be lurid and unintentionally funny.

Director Robinson Devor' explores these issues by interviewing zoophiles living in North America. He manages to get breathtakingly candid footage of men describing how they came to realise they were attracted to animals and how they reconciled that with their preconceptions of "right" behaviour. He also explains how you go from thinking about it to actually doing it. The men would meet via the interent, find increased confidence among like-minds, and then finally meet on a ranch to, basically, have sex with horses.

When a zoophile died from a perforated colon, the police were called in, the zoos activities were exposed and the law was quickly changed to make zoophile activities illegal in Washington. Ironically, a well-meaning vet put down the horse to prevent it from being "abused" again.

ZOO played Sundance and Cannes 2007 and was released in the UK in May 2007. It is available on DVD.

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