Top 5 Animal Liberation Documentaries, September 2020

  1. Blackfish (2013): Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligence and enormously sentient fellow mammals. (synopsis from

2. The Ghosts in Our Machine (2013): With the exception of our companion animals and the wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily only as the food, clothing, animal tested goods and entertainment we make of them. This moral dilemma is largely hidden from our view. The Ghosts in Our Machine illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the photographic lens of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur, audiences become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. From undercover investigations to joyful rescue missions, in North America and in Europe, each photograph and story is a window into global animal industries. The Ghosts in our Machine charts McArthur’s efforts to bring a wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid. (synopsis from

3. The Animal People (2019): This feature documentary tells the story of the Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC) campaign that brought an international corporation to the brink of collapse, resulting in one of the largest FBI investigations in U.S. history, as well as the unprecedented indictment of six young American activists for terrorism, posing the question: Just how far are your first amendment rights actually protected?

4. Watson (2019): Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson has sailed the globe to keep our oceans and their inhabitants safe. A portrait of a man willing to put his own life at risk in a relentless quest to protect the oceans and the marine life within. Co-founder of Greenpeace, Captain Paul Watson has spent 40 years fighting to end the destruction of the ocean’s wildlife and its habitat. (from

5. Behind the Mask (2006): Film about the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The movie was created by animal-rights lawyer Shannon Keith, who owns Uncaged Films and ARME (Animal Rescue, Media & Education). The film is about animal rights activists who break into laboratories and other facilities to obtain footage of the way animals are used. It includes well-known names within the animal rights movement, some of whom have been imprisoned for taking direct action. (from