DO DONKEYS ACT? (David Redmon, Ashley Sabin). 72 minutes. Opens Friday (September 29). See listing. Rating: NNNN
This enthralling experimental documentary shines a light on the work of donkey sanctuaries by showing us the experience from the animal’s point of view.
David Redmon and Ashley Sabin filmed Do Donkeys Act? at sanctuaries in England, Ireland, upstate New York and Guelph, Ontario, illustrating their footage with poetic narration read by Willem Dafoe.
The structure moves from darkness to light, replicating a rescued donkey’s arrival at the sanctuary and its eventual integration into life there. By letting us reach our own conclusions about the meanings of various interactions between people and beasts, the film creates space for a contemplation of animal consciousness and human responsibility.