THE TIGER NEXT DOOR (Camilla Calamandrei, U.S.). 86 minutes. Friday (May 8), 10 pm, Royal; Sunday (May 10), 1:30 pm, Bloor. Rating: NNNN
This is the fascinating, infuriating study of Indiana resident Dennis Hill, ex-biker and recovering meth addict turned keeper and breeder of exotic animals, as he tries to find new homes for his various tigers (and two bears) after an inspection by the Department of Natural Resources forces him to radically downsize his operation.
At first, Hill seems like a decent enough eccentric whose fondness for animals has led him to take on too much responsibility, but the longer he's on screen, the clearer it is that he's become dangerously arrogant about his own capabilities. He loves his big cats, but you can understand why the local enforcement officer can barely keep from slugging him.
It's a great story, told with intelligence and compassion and some amazing footage.