From the ancient Egyptian gods to Dogs Playing Poker, mankind has been turning animals into men for most of our existence. Anthropomorphism is even common with the way we live with pets today. When we call them our fur-babies and talk to them as if they can fully comprehend what we are saying we are giving them human qualities they can’t quite grasp. In our films and literature we have taken it a step further. We turned the tables on mankind, making the animals the rulers of the planet. Planet of the Apes is perhaps the most famous of these films, and they tried to teach us a lesson by showing us that the way we treat our animals may not be a good reflection of ourselves. The latest film to do this is called Anonymous Animals, and it may not be for everyone.
Anonymous Animals follows the stories of several humans as they fight for survival against a world ruled by the animals. The animals hunt them, have them fight for sport and slaughter them. They live their lives the way we do today. The humans express fear and are docile, reacting on instinct alone as they try to make it through life one minute at a time. If you know anything about the way we treat our domestic animals today, you know this film won’t end well.
Anonymous Animals is not for everyone. Some who watch it may get a kick out of it for a few minutes, but quickly grow bored, while others will hunt for a deeper meaning. There is no deeper meaning however. The film simply treats us with its short running time, showing how we treat many animals in captivity today. How would we like it if our roles were reversed? There are no spoken words throughout the film. Only grunts and groans by the humans, and barks, growls, moos and more from the animals.
Director Baptiste Rouveure could have taken it step further, and had the humans appear as naked as the animals in the real world are. He could also have the animals appear fully as animals instead of humanoid with animals heads. Nonetheless, he still gets his point across. He beautifully juxtaposes the scenery with the darkness of the story. And that story, by the way, is simply a dark reflection of ourselves.
Make no mistake, Anonymous Animals is a weird, shocking film that will have you feeling uneasy. And well it should, because the story it tells is very close to home.