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 2016-11-30
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  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

Relationships & the Law Today: Supreme Court looks at transgender bathroom policies 2016-11-30 - A transgender boy banned from using the boys' restroom at his high school sued his county school board alleging that it impermissibly discriminated ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Picking up the shards 2016-11-30 - I made a cake on Nov. 8 to celebrate what I thought would be Hillary Clinton's election. For decoration, I melted sugar ...


Gay News

LETTERS Making it better, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus calls for harmony 2016-11-30 - Making it better Dear Editor: I spoke at a small high schooler-led LGBTQ acceptance conference in rural northwest Indiana ( Vice ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Tom Hewitt hooks into 'Finding Neverland' 2016-11-30 - Inspired by the 2004 movie, Finding Neverland has now been made into a musical Broadway show. After closing this past August in New ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Swingin' with Jane Lynch 2016-11-30 - Actress Jane Lynch returned to her roots in Illinois to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to comedy. She appeared at ...


Gay News

'The Trans List' to air Dec. 5 2016-11-30 - HBO Documentary Films will debut The Trans List Monday, Dec. 5, 7-8 p.m. CT, on HBO. Directed by portrait photographer/filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders ( ...


Gay News

Entertainment news: Andy Cohen, Ruby Rose, RuPaul, GALECA's top actresses, Madonna 2016-11-29 - Bravo's Andy Cohen thinks Donald Trump is actually a Democrat, Page Six noted. During a panel with Sarah Jessica Parker at 92Y, Cohen ...


Gay News

Film to critique Hollywood representations of disabled characters 2016-11-28 - CHICAGO - A group of disability activists, scholars, and filmmakers are announcing their Kickstarter campaign to raise completion funds for Code the the ...


Gay News

Remembering Neysa 2016-11-23 - When Neysa ( Neesha ) Scott walked into a room she neither sought nor shunned attention, yet it followed her like a shadow. ...


Gay News

LETTERS Saving land 2016-11-23 - The following press release is from Chicagoans, including LGBTQs, who are raising funds to bring donations of cash and supplies to Native Americans ...


 



Copyright © 2016 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
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos 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 produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.

www.windycitymediagroup.com
[email protected]  •  [email protected]  •  [email protected]

Website Powered by LoveYourWebsite.com