Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-06-24
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Ghosts in Our Machine film: 'Empathy Gene and Tofu'
by Liz Marshall
2013-12-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Someone should do a survey; to actually see how many queer vegetarian/vegan women are out there. I suspect a very large percentage.

Ever since I came out in the early 90s, I have noticed the trend in queer women's spaces for hummus and veggies and tofu scramble, ( thankfully the veg world has exploded in recent years and there are many many more versatile foodie options, although I still eat and love hummus and tofu scramble! ). But seriously, what is this cliche about anyway? The empathy gene? We know that the majority ( 76% ) of our social media followers are female; I wonder how many of them are queer? Maybe it's not important, but I am curious … .

I am curious about the capacity for empathy. The film I directed, The Ghosts in Our Machine ( playing December 6-12, 2013 at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago ) is ultimately a plea for greater empathy. Animal sentience is defined in the first act, through the disembodied voices of cutting-edge scientists—"Sentience is the capacity to feel"; all animals are sentient, and humans are animals."

The film illuminates the lives of nonhuman animals ( the ghosts ) rescued from and living within the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of protagonist, photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, the audience experiences empathy for nonhuman animals. The audience also experiences the sentience of Jo-Anne McArthur, as she is the conduit into the hidden lives of the nonhuman animals featured throughout the film. Audiences are left with a new way of seeing animals as feeling and conscious beings, not merely as tools for production.

Since the world premiere of The Ghosts in Our Machine at the Hot Docs Film Festival in April/May of this year, the film has garnered several international awards and nods, and has attracted a myriad of reviews, from mainstream press to countless blogs, and it has been quite fascinating for me to observe not only the emotional, and often visceral reaction to the film, but also the interpretation of the film. The theme of empathy comes up repeatedly in various ways.

A queer woman, a film theorist and professor, Sherry Coman, wrote one of my favorite reviews of the film. After viewing the film she unpacked it for me saying that it's not "about" empathy but rather it "dwells in" empathy, not in a saccharin sentimental way, in a heartfelt and even tragic way. Many people will comfortably inhabit that space, while others will distance themselves from it. Coman's review of the film is here: hanadreaming.blogspot.ca/2013/10/the-ghosts-in-our-machine.html, and a list of reviews with hyperlinks can be found here: www.theghostsinourmachine.com/press/ .

So what about that "empathy gene?" Do vegans and vegetarians have a larger or more honed empathy gene? My partner Lorena Elke has a super sonic one; it is about 10,000 times bigger than your average person's when it comes to her capacity to feel for animals, and to want to help them. I have always cared for the underdog, for people and for animals, and have naturally "put myself in another's shoes," to feel their pain or joy. The only fistfight I had in grade school was with a bully. But my empathy for animals has developed and grown in the making of The Ghosts in Our Machine because I am more aware and tuned in to 'seeing' them. I wanted to make a film that would be a catalyst for people who care, but who need to care more. And there are those who will never care. When it comes to having empathy for other species, I think many people need to, and can, foster and develop this part of themselves/ourselves.

Liz Marshall is an award-winning auteur filmmaker who fuses character-driven cinematic storytelling with social and environmental justice issues. Since the 90s she has created a body of documentary projects shot all over the world which focus on a range of subjects including: animal use and animal sentience; the right to water movement; HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa; sweatshop labor; corporate-globalization; gender; censorship affecting writers and journalists, war-affected children; music icons and the written and spoken word. Liz is well versed in the craft of conceptual point-of-view storytelling as a means of exploring complex issues.

Marshall's current film is The Ghosts in Our Machine ( 2013 ), a critically acclaimed cross-platform documentary that illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, we become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human subjects. The film follows McArthur over the course of a year as she photographs several animal stories in parts of Canada, the U.S. and in Europe. Each story and photograph is a window into global animal industries: Research; Food; Fashion and Entertainment.

Related article at the link: \www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Animals-rights-is-focus-of-Ghost-film-at-Music-Box/45423.html .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Terrence McNally, Latino/a/x musicians, singer Harry Hains, Lena Waithe 2020-06-29 - Tony-winning actors Billy Porter and Rita Moreno, along with director Jeff Kaufman, will celebrate Terrence McNally on Wed., July 1, at 8 p.m. ...


Gay News

LETTER Standing up against racism 2020-06-27 - Dear community: June is Pride Month. Over 50 years ago, on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Supporting LGBTQ families requires that Black Lives Matter 2020-06-24 - Black lives matter. Black LGBTQ lives matter. And we will never have a just world for LGBTQ families until we have racial justice. ...


Gay News

PODCASTS 'A Queer Serial' delves into LGBTQ history 2020-06-24 - Devlyn Camp, the host of A Queer Serial podcast, is preparing for season two, continuing the stories of milestones in LGBTQ history before ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Dashaun Wesley spills the tea on HBO Max's 'Legendary' 2020-06-24 - "Ladies, gentlemen and genderqueers" exclaims Dashaun Wesley as host and emcee for the new ballroom culture reality-competition show Legendary, on HBO Max. ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE TELEVISION Brian Tanen talks about 'Love, Simon' spinoff 'Love, Victor' 2020-06-24 - Ready to binge a new queer-centered television series that had a spoonful too much gay sugar to let the medicine go down for ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Miss Lawrence talks new song, activism and Lee Daniels 2020-06-24 - Reality-show personality Miss Lawrence has built a diverse career in acting, singing and activism. Growing up in Atlanta, Lawrence pursued hairstyling, which ...


Gay News

Music Box, Kino Lorber hosting film 'Proud' 2020-06-23 - To honor Pride Month, the Music Box Theatre and Kino Lorber are presenting Philippe Faucon's three-part episodic cinema event Proud as a Virtual ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lee Daniels, 'Walking Dead' star, Sylvester, Richard Simmons 2020-06-23 - Openly gay producer/director Lee Daniels ( TV's Empire; producer of the movie Monster's Ball ) said he was the original director of the ...


Gay News

TV: Sam Feder, Laverne Cox discuss trans documentary 'Disclosure' 2020-06-20 - Disclosure is a new original documentary debuting on Netflix in time for Pride season. Through a series of movie and television clips plus ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.