Montreal, Qc – The Ghosts In Our Machine follows the work of Jo-Anne McArthur, a war photographer that she says she wants to save the world. It may sound ambitious trying to save the world just with a camera, but to Jo-Anne and award winning Director Liz Marshall, the click of a shutter is more effective than any weapon. A collection of memories on pictures makes up the content of the soon to be released book by Jo-Anne McArthur: We Animals. Director Liz Marshall follows Jo-Anne for a year and captures on film the sentient beings that are victims of human’s daily routine.
The Ghosts In Our Machine awakens all different kinds of emotions from the start to the end of the documentary. Feeling angry toward the oppression of those victim to human injustice just because they are not of the same as our species and therefore not “worthy” of rights. This is a movie about the rights of the “other” sentient beings of this world.
Through the lens of McArthur, people can see the eyes of a sentient being. They are living beings capable of feeling the same emotions as humans do. These beings are non-human animals. They are animals, just non-human. And in the same way we may empathize with a crying baby, we empathize with a baby cow until we call her veal. We are capable of laughing with other humans and we laugh at the scene of baby piglets playing, but when we see a transport truck filled with pigs some people just might call them bacon. Marshall adds sound to give life to pictures that are part of Jo-Anne’s book. The mooing of a cow trapped in a factory farm and the mooing of a cow enjoying life in a meadow displays the reality of the new era of slavery.
The Ghosts In Our Machine shows the different kinds of activism that make up Animal Rights. There are activists that trespass onto fur farms and those that secretly take video with revealing images. There are those that are not animal rights activists yet they saved the lives of two victims of vivisection. The activism of advocates in holding posters and the activism done by those that run sanctuaries. Jo-Anne mentions in the documentary that we are all able to feel compassion if we can give it a chance.The moment humans allow themselves to feel the compassion and empathize with non-human animals it is when a difference is being made for the ghosts in our machines.
Jo-Anne gives the oppressed animals a voice through her pictures and Liz has echoed her voice in this film. People will not encounter the graphic imaging of the documentary “Earthlings” and they will not be bombarded with statistics and numbers given in the documentary “Food, Inc.” The film is about the true essence of what empathy is supposed to be. Moviegoers will find The Ghosts In Our Machine a documentary that teaches with love, about respect and understanding for all animals; including humans.
“Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. ”
— César Chávez