Mine Geralyn Pezanoski

Mine Geralyn Pezanoski
Standing out amongst the array of post-Katrina documentaries about emergency preparedness and government cost-cutting measures leading to human tragedy, Mine tells a decidedly less political story of perspective, solipsism and degrees of human morality. The title refers to the many pets left behind by owners during the disaster, only to be rounded up by animal rescue teams and dispersed to shelters across the country, where they were given to new owners. Problem is, some of the Katrina victims wanted their pets back, which is a bit of an issue when new owners have been given legal custody, subsequently developing an emotional bond. Smartly, the documentary weaves tales of rescue during a chaotic time with the perspectives of both those looking for their pet and the people that have since adopted it. This helps the audience understand how an owner could have left their dog or cat behind in the first place, and how it could be given away without confirmation that it was no longer wanted. Focusing on the tale of an 80-year-old woman separated from her black lab initially, Pezanoski's documentary shows the obvious stance of property ownership and sincere bond, but shifts gears later when we meet people wanting to reunite with pets that they haven't bothered looking for in almost a year. Seeing how so many different people can perceive a situation given their specified background is what makes this doc more than a saccharine ride for animal lovers, showing how complex seemingly black and white issues can really be. The DVD comes with multiple supplements, including public service announcements on spaying and neutering pets, information on pit bulls, additional pet reunions and notes on how to prepare for an emergency. This month's short film, La Vie D'Un Chien, directed by John Harden, is the most memorable short included with a Film Movement release in over a year. Told with still photography, this smart and heartfelt absurdist comedy details a society turned anarchic when scientists discover a way to turn people into dogs temporarily, giving them freedom from social constraints. It does something rare, balancing humour, pathos and political relevance, making us laugh and think simultaneously. (Film Movement)