YOUR MOMMY KILLS ANIMALS (Curt Johnson). 106 minutes. Opens Friday (August 3) at the Royal. Rating: NNNN
It's got a provocative title taken from a graphic anti-fur comic book handed out to children by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
And it opens with scenes of such brutal, horrific animal cruelty - dogs being beaten and killed, a model being clubbed for her fur coat - that I wanted to stop watching.
But the shock tactics soon subside as Your Mommy Kills Animals begins a serious examination of the ongoing battle between celebrity-supported pro-animal-rights groups like PETA and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and big business (fur and cosmetics companies for the most part).
Then director Curt Johnson delivers the biggest shock of all: PETA kills animals. A lot of animals. Internal records show that the organization destroys more than 60 per cent of the dogs and cats it takes in. (PETA declined to comment for the film).
One of the most chilling aspects of the film is how George Dubya deflected attention from his failing war on terror by redefining what terrorism is. In 2005, according to the FBI, America's top domestic threat wasn't al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden or even the KKK. It was homegrown animal rights activists like the extremist ALF.
Johnson does a terrific job of examining how the broader politics of the times and issues like freedom of speech have come to play an important and unfortunate role in the battle over animal rights.
It's impossible to watch without having your point of view challenged - no matter which side of the issue you're on.