We recently caught up with Chris Delforce to talk about his new documentary Dominion. Writer, producer and director Chris told us that Dominion, the follow up to his 2014 film Lucent, will cover a much broader spectrum of animal welfare issues throughout society.
While Lucent focused on the life of pigs within the Australian pig farming and slaughterhouse industry, Dominion takes a much broader look at the industries prevalent in our society, exposing the animal welfare shortcomings in each of them. As Chris explains, it explores “the ways we use animals and the scale of it, to show just how massive a problem it is.”
By examining our relationship with animals through the areas of pets, wildlife, scientific research, entertainment, clothing and food, the film questions the validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom. Chris says the documentary challenges the assumption that:
“Animals are inferior, humans are superior and therefore that somehow grants us the the right to have dominion over them, so I’m challenging that assumption, that perception, of animals being inferior and the idea that if someone is inferior then it gives us the right to control them, exploit them and use them for our own ends.”
The film has been in the making for over 3 years and is due for release at the end of March 2018. It uses footage gained by activists and from drones giving us a closer look at some of the ‘industry norms’ which will shock most people. Chris hopes to reveal the truth behind our food, cosmetics, clothing and even entertainment like horse racing and rodeo which hide many dark secrets, he explained:
“I think that these industries are only able to exist because people don’t know about them, they depend on secrecy and by breaking down that secrecy, by allowing consumers especially, the people who are buying these products and paying for these things to happen, by letting them see what is happening giving them that choice, I think good people will choose to no longer to support it…… I want to give people the opportunity to see for themselves.”
These industries are shrouded in secrecy and it’s this which led to Chris being arrested a year after the release of Lucent. His home was raided by a dozen police who expected to find footage gained illegally, they confiscated all of his filming, recording and electronics equipment. It went to court this year in the first ever ‘ag gag’ case in Australia with the intention of preventing the public from seeing what happens behind the closed doors of animal farming and slaughter. It was thrown out by the Court, all charges were dropped and compensation was awarded following ‘incompetence’ by the police.
One of the charges was against the use of footage which showed pigs being killed in gas chambers. This was the world’s first publicised footage of the harrowing use of gas chambers to kill pigs, which is purported to be a humane way of killing animals and as such is sadly used in most countries around the world including Australia, The U.S. and U.K. These countries use it to kill pigs, chickens, turkeys and even cats and dogs.
Dominion will be released next March and is likely to be put up for free viewing and download on YouTube and possibly Netflix.