ⓘ Zoo (2007 film)

                                     

ⓘ Zoo (2007 film)

Zoo is a 2007 American documentary film based on the life and death of Kenneth Pinyan, an American man who died of peritonitis due to perforation of the colon after engaging in an unusual tryst involving receptive anal sex with a horse. The films public debut was at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007, where it was one of 16 winners out of 857 candidates. Following Sundance, it was selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

                                     

1. Title

The film was originally titled In the Forest There Is Every Kind of Bird, but is released under the title Zoo, short for zoophile, signifying a person with a sexual interest in animals.

                                     

2. Awards and recognition

Zoo was one of 16 documentaries selected, out of 856 submitted, for screening at the Sundance Film Festival, and played at numerous U.S. regional festivals thereafter.

It was selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.

                                     

3. Reception

Sundance judges called the film a "humanizing look at the life and bizarre death of a seemingly normal Seattle family man who met his untimely end after an unusual encounter with a horse".

The Seattle Times called it "A tough sell that gets respect at Sundance", also noting the local economic effect of landmark films which put a location "on the map". OC Weekly film says, Zoo achieves the seemingly impossible: It tells the luridly reported tale of a Pacific Northwest Boeing engineers fatal sexual encounter with a horse in a way thats haunting rather than shocking and tender beyond reason." Similar views were expressed by the Los Angeles Times and the Toronto Star, "gorgeously artful. one of the most beautifully restrained, formally distinctive and mysterious films of the entire festival".

Other reviewers criticized the film for breaching "the last taboo", for sinking to new depths: "More compelling than the depths of mans degeneracy is our cultural rationalization of art, whereby pushing the envelope is confused with genius and scuttling the last taboo is seen as an expression of sophistication."



                                     

4. Legacy

Charles Mudede reported in 2015 that the zoophiles featured in the film had remained in contact with the director; according to Mudede they believe that Devor was "a real ally" to their cause.