Industrial Deals Beauty Summer Reading STEM nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Starting at $39.99 Wickedly Prime Handmade Wedding Rustic Decor Shop Popular Services  Introducing Echo Show All-New Fire 7 Kids Edition, starting at $99.99 Kindle Oasis GNO Water Sports STEMClubToys17_gno
Customer Review

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Model of Fairness, September 11, 2011
This review is from: The Elephant in the Living Room (Amazon Video)
I'm perplexed by the two negative reviews because this is a model of fairness. Yes, the film has a point of view, but it goes out of its way to present alternate opinions fairly. This is a documentary which should be taught in journalism schools.

The documentary introduces the viewer to a subject few people know about: the market for exotic animals and the popularity of people keeping them in suburban areas. The director has a point of view, but in the process, he gives opponents a chance to speak out. Although I was convinced that this is a problem, I could easily have sided with the opponents.

Very few in the media have the empathy to approach a story like this, which is why one should view this in the theater or on Amazon but one should also get a copy to study. Unfortunately, too many commentators and reporters are incapable of treating the viewer or reader with the respect for their intelligence that people deserve.

The movie presents two main characters: one, a crippled truck driver who has raised a pair of lions since they were cubs and the other, a police officer who has become an expert in handling exotic animals. Although the lion owner is not particularly articulate, you see the love he has for the lions and understand the good that the lions have done for his state of mind.

And if you ultimately come down on the side of people who want to regulate the ownership of exotic animals, that is because the spokesman for that position is an authentic American hero. He comes across as unpreposessing, looking more like a hardware store clerk than a policeman. Yet he is quite an extraordinary man. With his combination of expertise, compassioin and courage, he embodies the American spirit and reminds one of an lawman of the Old West. Even though he is a producer of the documentary and is probably shown in as positive a light as can be, the fairness with which the film treats both sides makes one truct the portrayal of the police officer.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the guidelines and FAQs here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in


Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 12, 2011, 2:56:34 PM PDT
Lane S. says:
T. - I completely agree. It is clear that there is biased lobbying being posted here by corporations who seek to squash this important film, and not movie reviews by individuals. Makes me want to share the film even more ;-)

Check out what I copied from the movie website. This provides some true, unbiased insight from movie critics.

Seattle Times: "An exceptionally compassionate, fair-minded film. This topic could easily have been sensationalized as reality TV, but Webber takes the high road, honoring the sanctity of all life while focusing his film on an intimately human scale.

Delaware News Network: "Director Webber, does a good job of providing both sides of the argument. The subject of owning wild animals as pets is not only discussed in this film, but honestly explored as well."

New York Times: "Fair to a fault"

San Diego Entertainer: "Although reporting on a controversial subject, Weber is able to keep the film balanced and objective still making it clear that it is the owner's responsibility to take care of these animals. The Elephant in the Living Room is a heart-warming, yet shocking reality story that is neither accusing nor aggressive"

Hollywood Chicago: "I didn't expect the human angle of this story that is so well-defined from both sides of the debate. The Elephant in the Living Room" could have been an indictment of man's control over nature, but it's a much deeper film than I expected. It's a beautifully focused film that informs while it also presents a very human story. By chronicling someone on both sides of the debate."

Philadelphia Examiner: It's easy to vilify the people who contribute to the problem, but Webber shows the bond that develops between some of the owners and their pets, and that certainly complicates the issue."

Toledo Free Press: "But hold on. This is not an "us vs. them" film, one that tries to bolster one point of view while condemning the opposite. Neither Harrison nor Brumfield is a "bad person," and director Webber does not want us to sympathize with one over the other. Rather, as the movie progresses, we come to see two men who want the best for everyone, human and animal. It's just that, as is often the case, they have wildly differing viewpoints as to what that means. But again, it never feels like Webber is putting his thumb on the scale. The movie does clearly have a point of view, but doesn't arrive there at the expense of denigrating or taking cheap shots. It simply shows us events and facts as they unfold, and lets its conclusion come to the viewer organically."

Games Eye View: "The creative team behind the movie clearly treats its two subjects with the utmost with respect, showing both sides in a sympathetic manner."

SNYC: "Naturally, the key to making those interviews successful is shooting with an unflinching honesty, and certainly Webber does just that. Emotional and candid, it's clear the people on camera are speaking from the heart, whether they're advocating for owners' rights or condemning the idea of keeping animals that could literally eat your face off. It's a tricky debate, and one that the filmmaker takes pains to explore thoroughly."

Independent Film Channel: "Takes the time to consider the positive impact they can have on responsible owners' lives."

Living Cinema: "Director Michael Webber takes an unexpectedly even-handed approach with his documentary."

Box Office Magazine: "This doc's subject could veer towards the theatrical (or circus-like) but Elephant in the Living Room avoids those exploitive pitfalls. Webber's story-telling strategies remain consistently low-key, as he successfully balances the opposing views of exotic animal experts and specialty pet owners."

Prescott News: "Webber avoids the trap of becoming condemning or judgmental of those who own exotic animals and instead allows us to see their story as well."

Columbus ALIVE: "Its thoughtful, even-handed approach is refreshing in a world of docs that lean toward propaganda. Director Michael Webber gives the film a firm position without delivering PETA-approved lectures."

Theater "Director Michael Webber is very sensitive with all of the material in "The Elephant In The Living Room". There are two distinct views in the documentary - those who feel that exotic animals are fine as pets and those who do not. Though it seems to cover Tim's journey a bit more, people on both sides of the coin are represented and the camera never judges."

On Demand Weekly: "Webber's film gives balance and voice, allowing both sides to argue their case. Never sensational, and surprisingly never judgmental, THE ELEPHANT IN THE LIVING ROOM is always compelling to watch"

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 12, 2011, 5:51:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 12, 2011, 5:52:27 PM PDT
T. Berner says:
Amen. I don't know of a single documentary that is so balanced that I could easily have come out on the other side. Too bad Amazon doesn't sell the DVD, which is only available on the film's website.

I don't think it is corporations, though, which are posting these silly charges. I think that this is an emotional subject for many people and they overreact.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details