›› We Are Animals
a short film by Dominic Haxton.
2013 | 13 mins | US.
principal players: Daniel Landroche / Nathan, Clint Napier / Peter, Drew Droege / George, Jeffrey O'Connell / Homeless Man and George Alvarez as the Secretary of Public Decency.
Official Synopsis: "Set during the 1980s AIDS crisis, this 'alternate history fable' tells the story of a closeted young man who finds himself in the midst of an anti-government coup."
Imaginative, yet equally frightening, are words that spring to mind after watching this apocalyptic vision of homosexual hell from writer and director Dominic Haxton of Teens Like Phil fame. For this is a nightmare scenario of a world descended into chaos and of a government that will go to any means, no matter how extreme, to stop the spread of a killer virus on its shores.
And it's the reality of times past, that makes this an all the more alarming tale. For gripped by the fear of an incurable disease, Haxton thinks the unthinkable, creating an environment in which quarantine camps are the order of the day, along with compulsory castration for anyone found to be HIV+. Living in fear of being rounded up like infected cattle, gays have all but resorted to drugs in order to suppress their homosexual urges - their very identity; apart that is from a handful of rebels with a cause.
Rebels with a cause, in We Are Animals.
For into such a dark narrative light does thankfully shine, as we find Haxton striking out at the state, courtesy of the Pink Panther resistance movement whose leader of the pack is currently due to have the surgical snip, only to naturally have others ideas, along the way having set his sights on the male nurse assigned to him.
In short, this provocative short has a lot to say and say it, it does, even if it can only but leave you with more questions, than answers, not least of which is how many degrees of separation are quarantine camps from concentration camps; that of places where the populace can be legally held against their will, for "health" reasons? Thankfully it's well played from start to finish, in particular by Clint Napier who wonderfully captures the rebellious spirit of the piece, a role that is nicely countered by Daniel Landroche as the gay boy whose animal instincts are destined to be set free. All of which makes for yet another quality production from the good folk at ASPD Films. But then, that kind of goes without saying.
Gay Visibility - overt.
Nudity - from the waist up.
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars.