Do Donkeys Act?

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 7:00pm
DCTV, 87 Lafayette St, NYC

Doors 6:30pm | Event 7pm | No admittance after 7:30pm

David Redmon and Ashley Sabin / 2017 / 72 min

NYC Premiere

“Burned, beaten, abandoned, donkeys look back at us humans with indifference, and bray.” David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s Do Donkeys Act––filmed over 5 years––subtly subverts the notion of the “dumb beast” as it captures donkeys communicating emotionally with each other in the midst of healing from human cruelty and neglect. A poetic text threads through scenes “acted” by donkeys, a rhythmic script commentary voiced by Willem Dafoe.

Do Donkeys Act’s ethno-poetic-animal-fiction takes its playfully self-reflexive cues from Jean Rouch and Chris Marker. Encouraging us to respect a major language barrier we might not otherwise consider––the mystery and intrigue of donkey utterances––Do Donkeys Act invites us to "step into their shade, listen closely" as we attune to a series of dramatic performances in which we eavesdrop on donkeys speaking amongst themselves. Reclaiming the donkey from the indignity of a centuries old master slave relationship in which the dominant image of the donkey has been negative (stubborn, buffoon, jackass, laborer, trickster and fool), Do Donkeys Act elevates a denigrated and degraded beast to the role of lead actor and performance artist. To paraphrase Marina Abramovic, the donkey is present.

Post-Screening Q&A

Holly Besaw has been working with donkeys for over 8 years – breeding, birthing, training, and general health care – via Peaceful Valley Rescue Adoption Center, Kickin’ Up Dust Farm, and Butternut Ridge Farm. She is also President of the non-profit Thera-Pets, which takes miniature donkeys into nursing homes and disabled facilities, hosts a special needs children’s program, and provides education to the general public. Holly is a board member of the North County Hay Bank which provides large animal owners facing financial hardship with temporary hay and feed assistance. Her mission is to find loving homes for rescue donkeys and to provide animal assisted therapy to improve human health.


Grab a ticket for this event, or a new seasonal pass (only $25!) to enjoy all events this season.

Eventbrite - DCTV Presents: Winter/Spring 2018


Facebook Connect

This event is part of the Winter/Spring 2018 season of DCTV Presents, DCTV’s signature screening and event series that champions groundbreaking nonfiction film.

Brooklyn Brewery