Due to successful premieres in major cities across the country, Speciesism: The Movie enjoys additional weeklong theatrical runs in Los Angeles and New York City. While LA’s seven days are almost exhausted—the last two screenings are at 3PM and 7PM today at the Downtown Independent—Brooklyn’s indieScreen Theater welcomes the documentary tonight, with showings each evening through November 20.
If you haven’t yet heard of this fresh independent project, here’s a bit of background,
Essentially, Devries set out to make a movie exploring the gulf of inequality between how we treat human animals versus how we treat nonhuman animals and, deeper than this, if this distinction matters. Entering into it, Devries explains, he expected he’d exit the same way he came: confident he could defend the use of animals—for fashion, food, research, entertainment and so on. What actually happened, however, proved the opposite.
This funny-meets-frightening film follows Devries as he ventures into uncharted territory, both literally and figuratively. When he’s not crossing the country by car, bent on getting a firsthand look at America’s factory farms, he’s introducing audiences to myriad expert points of view—from philosophers and scientists to attorneys and activists.
Delivering a thought-provoking and endlessly entertaining look at this controversial subject, with no shortage of surprises—and laughs—Speciesism is indeed an eye-opener. If you live near LA or NYC, join Devries on his journey. Otherwise, pre-order a DVD. Either way, read on for a few words from the interesting and informative investigator himself.
What compelled you to make this movie?
It started innocently, when I came across a few PETA demonstrations and wanted to find out what motivated them. I never imagined I’d be sneaking onto factory farms, confronting their owners and meeting some of the world’s most influential thinkers.
What would you deem to be the greatest challenge?
First, investigating factory pig farms in North Carolina. I crawled through bushes and climbed into ditches in order to sneak onto their property, and I flew in a tiny propeller plane overhead in order to obtain aerial shots of the environmental degradation they cause. Second, it took many attempts before I figured ways to persuade factory farmers to let me inside their facilities with a camera.
In what ways did making this movie affect you?
I started the film without thinking this was a particularly serious issue—just a very interesting one. By the time I finished, my view of the world was totally changed. If these scientists and philosophers are correct—that we cannot justify taking the suffering of nonhuman animals less seriously than our own suffering—it would make what happens to animals on factory farms one of the most important ethical issues in history.
How have audiences reacted to the film?
The reaction has been incredible. People approach me after previews and premieres, telling me the film completely changed their thinking about animals. People have even contacted me months later to say the movie changed their lives. Excitingly, many audience members have become vegan since seeing the movie, as I have since making it.
Los Angeles | Friday November 8 – Thursday November 14 | Downtown Independent | 251 S. Main Street | 2 Screenings/Day
New York City | Thursday November 14 – Wednesday November 20 | indieScreen Theater | 289 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn | 1 Screening/Day
DVD pre-orders available for a limited time while supplies last.