The Animal Condition follows four friends in their 20s who take an investigative road trip around rural Australia asking questions to all sides – from activists and welfare agencies to government and industry – and documents the way humans relate to the animals they eat.
This objectivity and youthful approach gained the friends unprecedented access to the Australian egg, pork and cattle industries, famous for their privacy.
Along their journey, the four interview industry heavyweights, federal politicians, animal welfare advocates, indigenous Australians, immigrant factory workers, philosophers and scientists, and with each new encounter they share their reactions, shifting viewpoints and personal reflections with the audience.
The Animal Condition had its world premiere at the recent Melbourne International Film Festival, where both sessions sold out and brought groups with opposing views into one cinema for discussion.
The documentary will screen on Saturday, 23rd August as part of CinéfestOZ’s Side Barprogram.
First time director Michael Dahlstrom described The Animal Condition as a film about “human and animal suffering”.
“The Animal Condition is about the dying farmer unable to keep his operating costs low enough to break even, the activist jailed for refusing to pay trespassing fines and the animals caught in the middle,” he said. “But most of all, the film is an exploration of the arguments we use to justify our treatment of others. How a farmer treats his dog is very different to the way he treats his pigs. The conditions dealt out to immigrant factory workers are very different to those enjoyed by their managers. It is not just a story about animal welfare, but a story about how we as humans treat each other.”
The Animal Condition is a film by Code Talk Films, a collaboration between Augusta Miller (Happy Feet, Risking Our Kids), Ande Cunningham (Spartacus: Blood and Sand,Raker), Michael Dahlstrom and Sarah-Jane McAllan (Before the Rain, Raker, The Wonderful).
For more information on the film visit www.theanimalcondition.com
CinéfestOZ is supported by the State Government through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program, which is funded by Royalties for Regions. The festival acknowledges its strong partnership with ScreenWest, Western Australia’s screen funding and development agency.
The Animal Condition screens at 6pm on Saturday, 23rd August at Fair Harvest, Margaret River. Tickets are priced $32 and include a pre-screening vegetarian curry followed by the premiere screening and filmmaker Q&A.