DIRECTED BY AMY FINKEL (USA, Nightvision)
Saturday, April 27, 11:30 p.m.
Bloor Hot Docs Cinema (506 Bloor Street West)
Monday, April 29, 1 p.m.
ROM Theatre (100 Queens Park)
Sunday, May 5, 6:30 p.m.
The Revue (400 Roncesvalles Avenue)
Amy Finkel’s Furever focuses on a variety of pet owners whose relationships with their four-pawed friends—feline and canine, it’s equal opportunity—falls into the “obsessive” category. The twist here is that the fixation manifests after Spot or Milky’s death. With the pet industry grossing in the billions annually, that the pet-death industry is booming makes sense. Finkel’s view on the matter, however, is less clear cut. She occasionally gawks at her subjects’ oddities, then turns around and justifies them.
Finkel chooses her subjects well. Each one deals with the loss of his or her pet with varying degrees of social grace. (Cremation, may be excessive but okay. Pushing the taxidermied corpse of a beagle in a stroller, not so much.) It’s an interesting way into interrogating the human psyche, perhaps, but Furever doesn’t address the socio-economic privilege associated with being able to grieve elaborately for a pet, nor does it delve into its subjects’ motivations. The human-animal bond is a rich topic, but the focus here is slightly too narrow.