Is it gruesome?

Published: Sunday 31 October 2004

Torronto Film Festival Protests

The Toronto Film Festival was marred by protests of animal rights groups, who took umbrage at one of the movies at the fest: Casuistry, the art of killing a cat. The 91-minute documentary has interviews with three cat killers -- Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers and Matt Kaczorowski as well as animal activists, artists, police and journalists. In 2001, Power -- an ex-vegetarian -- combined with Wennekers and Kaczorowski to make a video that according to him was an artistic statement about suffering of animals used for meat. They filmed a cat as they tempted it with a mouse, then skinned and decapitated, and left its body dangling from the ceiling. The skinned animal was found in Power's referigerator. The three eventually pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges. Animal rights activists were, however, incensed when they received minimal jail time and leading up to the festival had demanded that Casuistry be pulled off. But festival co-director Noah Cowan rejected the calls. "Film festivals exist, in part, to generate intelligent reasoned discussion and not to stifle it," he said.

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