HOT DOCS 2017 Reviews: DO DONKEYS ACT? Starring Willem DaFoe

Festival Reviews

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do_donkeys_act.jpgDonkeys inhabit and communicate with each other – and the filmmakers – in a Sanctuary.

Directors: David Redmon, Ashley Sabin
Star: Willem Dafoe

Review by Gilbert Seah

 It has to happen eventually – a documentary on donkeys from the donkey’s point of view.

The film’s ethno-poetic-animal-fiction takes its playfully self-reflexive cues from Jean Rouch and Chris Marker.

Encouraging the audience to respect a major language barrier the audience might not otherwise consider––the mystery and intrigue of donkey utterances––DO DONKEYS ACT? invites the audience to “step into their shade, listen closely” as we attune to a series of dramatic performances in which one’s eavesdrop on donkeys speaking amongst themselves.

Narrated by Willem Dafoe, this tactic is amusing but sometimes, simplicity is the key.

Though it might seem trivial to learn more about donkeys, curiosity eventually has its day…

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