The Ghosts in Our Machine illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, audiences become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. From undercover investigations to joyful rescue missions, in North America and in Europe, each photograph and story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment, and Research.
From undercover investigations to joyful rescue missions, in North America and in Europe, each photograph and story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment, and Research. The Ghosts in Our Machine charts McArthur’s efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid.
Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?
About the Filmmakers
The Ghosts in our Machine was produced by Syndicado and directed by Liz Marshall. Find out more about the film at theghostsinourmachine.com.
“With Jo-Anne McArthur, award-winning animal rights photojournalist, and her graceful imagery as the protagonists, the film takes an unabashed, heartbreaking look at animals (or ‘ghosts’, in the context of the film) and their often unseen place in our high tech, highly mechanized world. The tragedy is the fate of the ghosts, save a lucky few who have been mercifully rescued from the machine and placed in loving havens for their remaining days. The terrifying irony is that while we live in a time of hyper-information, the volume of what is hidden from our view is growing by leaps and bounds. And what is hidden has a magnitude of consequence only rivaled by its own intolerable levels of cruelty.”
“The passion with which McArthur carries out her mission, and the film’s balance between grim imagery and real-life heroes (a woman who runs a rescue farm; a married couple who adopts beagles who’ve been research test subjects), easily override those moments, creating a film whose sense of urgency and purpose is utterly engrossing.” – Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice. Animal Rights Doc The Ghosts in Our Machine is Utterly Engrossing. 6 Nov 2013
“Cooly stylized, sometimes to the point of visual and aural delirium, Liz Marshall’s “The Ghosts In Our Machine” tracks the struggle of photographer Jo-Anne McArthur to have her bold images of the treatment of animals other than man seen by the world. Beauty and terror are quietly arrayed, sometimes commingling in the same images. It’s an artful way to make a case about the sentience of other animals than man: by focusing on McArthur’s work and sometimes guerrilla methods.” – Ray Pride, New City Film. Review: The Ghosts in Our Machine.4 Dec 2013
“Though there are some difficult images in the film, “Ghosts” is more a case of letting haunting beauty do the talking. Close-ups of eyes are strikingly effective, whether they belong to a cow, a piglet, or a beagle who spent years on and off an operating table in the name of science. The footage also makes a persuasive case that behind those eyes is a personality, emotion, the ability to feel fear, pain, pleasure, joy.” – Betsey Sharkey, Los Angeles Times. Review: ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’ champions animal rights.14 Nov 2013
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