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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Sean Kelly

Hot Docs 2017: Do Donkeys Act?

Willem Dafoe narrates life in a donkey sanctuary in Do Donkeys Act? At a "retirement home for donkeys," the animals recover from cruelty and neglect at the hands of humans. As the donkeys get groomed, fed, and give birth, the voice of God narration poetically ponders what exactly the donkeys think of the humans who care for them.

With Do Donkeys Act?, filmmaking duo David Redmon and Ashley Sabin spent five years observing life at a donkey sanctuary. The donkeys that comes to this sanctuary have usually been treated cruelly by humans, whether having been stabbed by teenagers or neglected to the point that they have seriously overgrown hooves. Despite the donkey's reputation of being a buffoon animal, they turn out to be quite complex creatures.

It is probably safe to say that if it wasn't for the narration by Willem Dafoe, Do Donkeys Act? would be a pretty average observational documentary. However, Dafoe's prose adds some major charm and humor to the life of donkeys, as he ponders what exactly is going on in their head. This alone makes Do Donkeys Act? a pretty entertaining watch, despite the somewhat menial actions on screen.

7 / 10 stars
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Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described ├╝ber-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).