Do Donkeys Act?

“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.

Sanctuary

“Welcome to heaven on earth” is one of few spoken lines in filmmaking duo David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s latest documentary which puts donkey “actors” centerstage. The camerawork is simple and quietly observant, and the sound design is continuously immersive. No interviews or dialogue interrupt this unobtrusive approach. No explanations by title are given.

Choreography

Donkeys actively look back at the filmmaker’s gaze in Choreography, an experiential documentary that inverts a vérité or observational approach by showing everyday moments of how donkeys avoid becoming “caught” and transformed into an “unaware” or “natural” image.

Herd

There is mystery to the sound and image. The focus is on an animal, but what animal? The image contains subtle movement. Gates slam as percussion to the quiet nighttime sounds. The delicate movement of the animals fur and flesh is contrasted against its sound, almost musical in pitch and tone. The beast creates a symphony of sounds.

Sentient 1

A woman awakes from a dream and explores life. Her life is embodied in these images and sounds.  Sentient 1 is a poem from lost fragments stitched together creating an evocative journey through time.  It is also alive a real thing.  

 

Sentient 2

I had a dream.

The dream that we were going to be apart.
Waking up, realizing I am being in a different city in distance where you are in.
I can only talk about my old memories to dreams.
Becoming a dream is an approach toward our memories.

Neige

In this snowbound ballet mécanique, hills of snow are cleared from the lamplit streets of Montreal in noisy, rhythmic procession. 

Kingdom of Animal

Kingdom of Animal is a one-shot documentary revealing the experiential sensations of factory laborers who process lobsters and fish inside three interconnected factories on the coast of Prospect Harbor, Maine. Our cinematic approach took three months to prepare before we recorded Kingdom of Animal (we have four different versions).

Downeast

Set during an era of U.S. post-industrialization in which numerous factories have been exported, Downeast focuses on Antonio Bussone's efforts to open a processing factory in rural Maine.

Night Labor

Night Labor follows Sherman Frank Merchant, a forty-six year old 6'6" Downeaster during his transition from an independent and rugged clam digger by day to manning a factory at night. With his white smock, arsenal of knives, and signature black beret, Sherman performs the tasks of preparing and arranging tools for the day laborers who arrive to their 6am shift.

Girl Model

Despite a lack of obvious similarities between Siberia and Tokyo, a thriving model industry connects these distant regions.

Invisible Girlfriend

Charles is in love with his invisible girlfriend, Joan of Arc, so he decides to ride his big red bicycle 400 miles from Monroe through rural Louisiana to find her in a New Orleans bar. Along the way, he encounters a farmer, a witch, a tin man, and a man who honors the dead.

Intimidad

Intimidad is an original Mexican love story about family relationships and the meaning of “home.” Cecy and Camilo – ages 21 – recently moved to the border, Reynosa, Mexico, from Santa Maria, Puebla with a dream to save money, buy land, and build a home. A year later they return to their rural hometown to reunite with their two year-old daughter Loida.

Kamp Katrina

Kamp Katrina, an award winning cinéma vérité documentary, follows a small group of people who have taken refuge in a garden transformed into a tent city by an extraordinary New Orleans couple, Ms. Pearl and her husband, David. Kamp Katrina focuses on the dialectic between madness and hope in their pursuit of stability.

 

Mardi Gras: Made in China

Winner of twenty-one national and international awards, Mardi Gras: Made in China follows the path of Mardi Gras beads from the streets of New Orleans during Carnival – where revelers party and exchange beads for nudity – to the disciplined factories in Fuzhou, China – where teenage girls live and sew beads together all day and night.