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EO | Film Review | Spirituality & Practice

Schweitzer’s Prayer for Animals
Who Are Suffering
Hear our prayer . . .
for the animals which are overworked,
underfed, and cruelly handled;
for all wistful creatures in captivity
that beat their wings in opposition to bars;
for any which are hunted or misplaced,
abandoned, frightened; hungry;
for all which are put to dying . . .
And for many who cope with them
we ask a coronary heart of compassion
And mild arms and kindly phrases.
– from Peace to All Beings by Judy Carman

There are greater than 40 million donkeys on this planet, with giant numbers of them in Ethiopia, China, Pakistan, and Mexico. Donkeys have been working animals for greater than 5,000 years and right now, largely they’re used as pack animals or for draught work in transport or agriculture. Lately, in western international locations, they’ve turn out to be widespread for childrens’ rides, sidekicks in animated films, and generally, as in EO a conduit for conveying each the kindness and the cruelty in human nature.

EO, a gray donkey, is the star of an 86-minute function movie which gained this 12 months’s Jury Prize on the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Best International Feature on the Academy Awards. Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski bought the thought to make a donkey the main target of his movie when he noticed the big quantity of emotion in EO’s eyes. It is thru these eyes that we see the world – and a darkish and delightful world it’s.

As the movie opens, EO is performing in a circus with Kasandra (Sandra Drzymalska) who lavishes love upon him. Even when they’re separated, the crimson of her costume appears to remind him of happier instances. And mid-film, when she finds him and offers him the love he’s been lacking, she nonetheless leaves. EO trots off after her, however that companionship is brief lived.

Mostly, EO is on his personal in numerous settings throughout Poland to Italy. Traveling in a van, he sees a herd of horses operating free. In a big barn, he admires some large white horses however when he by accident knocks over a case of trophies, he’s taken away. For some time he lives on a farm the place youngsters need donkey rides. Later, he will get misplaced in a forest (fantastically photographed by cinematographer Michal Dymek) and is noticed by an owl and a fox.

He meets his share of fine and dangerous people too. While grazing outdoors a bar, he’s crushed by a hockey crew who suppose he’s the mascot for an opposing crew. A kindly veterinarian nurses him again to well being.

A donkey's journey

Even although we see these experiences via his eyes, we don’t know what EO is pondering. He is, in spite of everything, an animal. Fortunately, Skolimowski doesn’t anthropomorphize him. Instead he helps us see what it will be wish to be a donkey. Without freely giving the ending, allow us to recommend that there’s a message embedded in EO’s journey that had us rethinking the half we play within the lives of so many animals.

“Finding peace within and bringing peace to the world may start with the capacity to look into another’s eyes and recognize there a kindred soul, whether the eyes belong to a German, a Dutchman, a friend. A chimpanzee. Or a wolf.”
– Gary Kowalski


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