Fantastic Planet ★★★½

Fantastic Planet is 1. animated, 2. foreign, and 3. weird, so I'm glad to see it being chosen for Film Club as it's exactly the type of film I want to push myself towards watching.

It's pretty quickly evident that it parallels animal abuse, or worker abuse, or racism, or classism, or the problems of valuing intelligentsia above all else, or pretty much anything you want it to be. I think it's easiest to see it as a direct analogue to mistreatment of pets and living alongside animals as humans are the ones being played with and in collars.

"It doesn't move."

"What a shame we can't play with her any more."

To that end I actually think Fantastic Planet is incredibly successful as we perceive this strange world through the eyes of the humans and are as lost in the strange happenings as they are, which makes me understand how strange it is for our pets to live in a human-dominated world. I mean, I always sort of knew that in theory, but when the Draags in here start meditating and morph themselves in bizarre ways, when bizarre animals and contraptions operate in ways that defy intuitive logic, I really imagine that's what it's like for our cats and dogs to see us watch movies or play games or see familiar humans on FaceTime.

I was actually vegetarian for a few years (more through circumstance than any other reason) and longer am, and while sometimes I think about going back it's difficult to seriously consider it. Even after watching slaughterhouse documentaries or films like Okja I feel sympathetic but not that moved. It's funny then that Fantastic Planet is the most convincing thing I've seen to make me go back.

[Film Club #23 / Logan's pick / my ranking]

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