Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-29
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
Music, radio are David Polk's passion, profession Music, radio are David

Polk's passion, profession
He grew up in north suburban Highland Park, where he worked as ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

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

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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 del.icio.us stumble upon digg 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.

Studio opening marks fashion/film event 2014-10-29
Knight at the Movies: Olive Kitteridge; To Russia with Love 2014-10-29
Jane Anderson talks about HBO miniseries 'Olive Kitteridge' 2014-10-29
Chicago fundraiser held for film with trans* activist 2014-10-29
NUNN ON ONE: TELEVISION Judith Light gets 'Transparent' about show, LGBT activism 2014-10-29
Events coming up in film, arts, music, performance 2014-10-29
Neil Patrick news; 'Freeheld' has problem; 'Divas Simply Singing' 2014-10-28
VIEWS: Being 'Black-ish' also being 'homophobic-ish?' 2014-10-22
Knight at the Movies: Nightbreed; Advanced Style; film notes 2014-10-22
Johnny Weir: Bringing the 'Love' in new documentary 2014-10-22
Upcoming events in film, music, poetry 2014-10-22
POLITICAL FOCUS: Mr. Rauner: You turned your back on us 2014-10-15
VIEWS Make them hear you! 2014-10-15
Knight at the Movies: Dracula Untold; film notes 2014-10-15
MOVIES Rory Kennedy re-creates 'Last Days in Vietnam' 2014-10-12
VIEWS Mr. Rauner: You Turned Your Back on Us. 2014-10-10
Alan Cumming on his memoir, acting 2014-10-09
Alan Cumming in Conversation at Music Box Theatre Oct. 13 2014-10-08
VIEWS Family with gay dads shines in new middle-grade novel 2014-10-08
NUNN ON ONE Gay actor from 'Nurse Jackie' shows theater chops 2014-10-08
Knight at the Movies: Pride; film notes 2014-10-08
CIFF's LGBT highlights: Week one 2014-10-08
Documentary on telephone hotlines out in November 2014-10-07
Knight at the Movies: Last Weekend; Hunted; notes 2014-10-01
VIEWS What we owe longtime survivors 2014-10-01
Disc and That: Upcoming and recent DVDs 2014-09-30
VIEWS Black children are beloved and beaten 2014-09-24
Knight at the Movies: Two Faces; This Is Where...; Devil's Door; Innocents 2014-09-24
Festival 'Reeling' in audiences 32 years later 2014-09-24
Bjork film screening; Chely Wright campaigns on Kickstarter 2014-09-24
Director talks dynamics of trans-focused film 'Boy Meets Girl' 2014-09-17
Life: Twelve 2014-09-17
VIEWS A gay icon gone 2014-09-17
Pastor/CTS student in trans* documentary 2014-09-16
'Queers in the Kingdom' filmmaker on movie, Wheaton College 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FEST The movie 'Lilting': Lost in translation 2014-09-16
REELING FILM FESTIVAL Max Adler of 'Glee' runs amok in Saugatuck 2014-09-16
Ugandan documentary screens at church 2014-09-16
Five Worth Finding: West Loop restaurant, steamy film 2014-09-16
Reeling Film Festival overview 2014-09-14





Copyright © 2014 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.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

PASSAGES Former Chicagoan Steven Moore dies
 
Strict ID laws could hinder trans voters
 
Neil Patrick news; 'Freeheld' has problem; 'Divas Simply Singing'
 
Egalite Chicago forum on LGBT activism post marriage equality
 
Music, radio are David Polk's passion, profession
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



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      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
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.