On Wild Animals, Hubris, and Redemption

On Wild Animals, Hubris, and Redemption Abstract This review considers three recent films that focus on the lives of captive exotic animals and the people who keep them: Water for Elephants (2011), a fictional Hollywood feature, and the documentaries One Lucky Elephant (2010) and The Elephant in the Living Room (2010). Despite their different motivations and target audiences, all three productions tell the stories of well-meaning people who take wild animals captive—most prominently elephants and lions—believing that only they can keep the animals safe and fulfilled. In each context, these people have profound, if self-interested, emotional attachments to their nonhuman captives. These three films, then, offer captive wild animals as ambivalent figures and cinematic loci for stories of human hubris and redemption. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

On Wild Animals, Hubris, and Redemption

Society & Animals, Volume 20 (4): 401 – Jan 1, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
Subject
Review Section
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
DOI
10.1163/15685306-12341259
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This review considers three recent films that focus on the lives of captive exotic animals and the people who keep them: Water for Elephants (2011), a fictional Hollywood feature, and the documentaries One Lucky Elephant (2010) and The Elephant in the Living Room (2010). Despite their different motivations and target audiences, all three productions tell the stories of well-meaning people who take wild animals captive—most prominently elephants and lions—believing that only they can keep the animals safe and fulfilled. In each context, these people have profound, if self-interested, emotional attachments to their nonhuman captives. These three films, then, offer captive wild animals as ambivalent figures and cinematic loci for stories of human hubris and redemption.

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2012

Keywords: captivity; circus; exotic animals; pet keeping; wild animals

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