Zoo movie poster
|Directed by||Robinson Devor|
|Produced by||Peggy Case
|Written by||Charles Mudede
|Editing by||Joe Shapiro|
|Release dates||January 18, 2007
Theatrical: April 25, 2007
|Running time||80 min.|
- Not to be confused with the 1985 Peter Greenaway film A Zed & Two Noughts
Zoo is a 2007 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 receptive anal sex with a horse. The film's public debut was at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007, where it was one of 16 winners out of 856 candidates. Following Sundance, it was selected as one of the top five American films to be presented at the prestigious Directors Fortnight sidebar at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
Cast and crew
The film was made with co-operation of the two men who took Pinyan to the hospital, as well as other friends of his, in the attempt to explore the life and death of the man, as well as those who came to the farm near Enumclaw for similar reasons, beyond the public understanding of the media. It does contain explicit material of sexual activities, but only in the view of video footage shown on a small television screen.
Awards and recognition
Sundance judges called it 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 engineer for Boeing's fatal sexual encounter with a horse in a way that’s haunting rather than shocking and tender beyond reason." Similar views were expressed by the Los Angeles Times ("remarkably, an elegant, eerily lyrical film has resulted") 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", or for sinking to new depths: "More compelling than the depths of man's 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."
- Macdonald, Moira (2006-07-03). "Infamous Enumclaw horse sex case to be made into movie". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2006-07-03.
- Westneat, Danny (2006-12-03). "New movie is the spawn of horse sex". The Seattle Times.
- Dentler, Matt (May 4, 2007). "Cannes Countdown: Directors' Fortnight Lineup Impresses". Matt Dentler's Blog. Archived from the original on February 9, 2008. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Levy, Emanuel. Zoo: Inside the Controversial Documentary about Bestiality.
- Hernandez, Eugene (2007-05-03). "Slate Set for 49th Directors' Fortnight; Corbijn's "Control" Opening Section". indieWIRE.
- Vicchrilli, Sam (2007-01-26). ""Zoo" a tough sell that gets respect at Sundance". The Seattle Times.
- Kaufman, Anthony (2007-01-23). "Year of the Horse: The Stunning World of "Zoo"".
- Nelson, Rob (2007-01-25). "Sympathy for the Devil". OC Weekly.
- Kenneth Turan (2007-01-22). "'Zoo' is not just 'eeew'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-09-04.
- Pevere, Geoff (2007-01-26). "In praise of real movies". Toronto Star.
- Kathleen Parker (2007-01-26). "Sundance films wallow in perversity, try to pass it off as 'art'". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2011-09-04.