Charles Mudede, Robinson Devor, Garr Godfrey, Ben Exworthy, Peggy Case, Alexis Ferris, Megan Griffiths, Sean Kirby, Joe Shapiro, Paul Moore
In the predawn hours of July 2, 2005, a dying man was dropped off at a rural emergency room in the Pacific Northwest. A surveillance camera captured the license plate of the car that deposited the man at the hospital. This led detectives to a nearby horse farm, where they found hundreds of hours of videotape of men from all over the world having sex with Arabian stallions. The man's cause of death was a perforated colon.
Although this incident made headlines and the tabloid news, Zoo is the complete antithesis of what you expect. Robinson Devor's filmmaking is as smart as it is eloquent. To begin with, Zoo is neither graphic nor exploitive. Most of it takes the form of recreations, but from the point of view of the men "who met for years without disturbance in the shadows of Mt. Rainier," as Devor puts it. He cleverly captures the essence of these men and their alienation by creating a visual poetry.
The cinematic language invented for the film permits us to examine where we draw the line, how much perversity we can tolerate in others. In a broader sense, Zoo is really about thresholds. What can we stand to know, and, more importantly, what can we stand to accept?