A remarkable glimpse at the uncanny connection between animals and humans, this stranger-than-fiction documentary also touches on some very human passions. Marriage takes on a new twist when the youthful, charismatic Chuck Lizza joins the Holidays as a performer. The introduction of Jupiter, a rare white Bengal tiger, to the act turns out to be a fatal mistake.
Skillfully directed by Harris Fishman with a moody score by String Theory and the very personal narration of Ron Holiday, CAT DANCERS includes unadulterated joy and unspeakable loss, as well as hauntingly bewitching footage of the felines both on and off stage, resulting in a provocative and intoxicating walk on the wild side that you won't soon forget.
DVD features: Deleted Scenes; Interviews With Exotic Cat Experts; Filmmaker Biography
Top Customer Reviews
Wow. This is a fascinating story about three people with very out of the ordinary lives. Not something for the mainstream, but if you are like me and prefer to watch docs about obscure or odd places or people, this one's for you!
This is the story about how the best intentions can go so so wrong. How the purest love can turn into the darkest of horrors and how love can live on and still shine brightly for everyone else to see, even if everything appears to be blood red for a while.
When they received their first big cat from a Hollywood celebrity, they had no clue what to do with it so they treated it like a child. Instead of getting an education (which they eventually did), they added the animal to their act, got more famous and then just kept adding more animals, poorly trained (at first), to their act. Money was made, they lived very large and the price they paid was so dear, so tragic, so unbelievable, it made me feel so sad.
They made tons of mistakes, assigning the animals human emotions, treating the cats like children (including holding grudges against them), and basically doing all the same things that we all do with our pets. Except their pets happened to be 300-pound tigers.
In the end, I really loved Ron Holiday and I wanted to give him a hug and tell him time heals. He suffered a lot and had an unconquerable spirit. I hope he does make it to the Tiger Temple in Thailand. From this documentary, I took his spirit and attitude. He made me see that the human heart can endure massive pain and still come through like a champion, inspiring others. I think that is truly what this documentary is about. Sorry if that sounds hopelessly lame. But for me, that's what it was about.
I will, however, comment about the personal commentary folks have made about Ron and Joy and Chuck. It is very disconcerting to read some of these. Judgments without firsthand knowledge or even just facts. I knew Ron and Joy, before Chuck was part of the act/family, when they worked summers on MDI, in Maine, in the early 1980s. My sister knew them more than I did, since she was actually still working at the animal park where I'd worked and at which they performed.
From my personal experience and from my sister's narrative of her work days at the park back then, they were totally committed to their animals and were gentle people,easy to be around and to hold conversation with, especially when talking about their cats. They were not 'on stage' unless they were actually performing. Never were they concerned about 'being seen', they were outwardly focused and focused on the 'now', during my conversations with them. Rugged and real and passionate, is how I'd describe them, looking back 30 years.
All their felines were their family members, not just 'treated like'. Just like my dogs and cats are to me and my family. I've worked with or around wild animals and domestic animals, large and small. Small, domestic animals - dogs and cats - most people can handle safely. Working with large, domestic or small, wild ones can result in injury or death - even to trained people. I've seen enough close calls.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful and sad story of a love of wild animals and a love of theater. The music is haunting and the ending so sad.Published 18 days ago by Carol Buess
Sad documentary and the ending was devastating. Some of the events are skeptical and hardly believable since the 2 of 3 people this documentary are about are dead. Read more
Well done, documentary. I saw a show on Animal Planet titled Fatal Attractions. After watching it, I looked this up on the internet and found this documentary by HBO. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Catonista
So much love and talent in this documentary. Terrible ending to lives of people that loved each other and life so much. People like them are very rare. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Maryann Hurlburt