“I’ll make them miss school to make sure they do not become too stupid. “
Why are we hunting? For meat? For the trophy? Or for the challenge or camaraderie? For some, maybe. But first and foremost, we hunt because we are biologically and psychologically predisposed to hunting. We hunt because, just as we need them, animals need us. Should we question the role of predation in the ecosystem? While the slaughterhouses are running at full speed, should we rethink the hunter’s ethics, or even abolish the hunt?
With Mal Élevés, presented as a world premiere at the Rendez-vous Québec Cinéma, which is held from February 20 to March 2, Danic Champoux offers a plea for hunting. And, at the same time, gives me a beautiful challenge of objectivity, I who does not have this activity in my list of values.
For the love of hunting
Clearly, the director and I do not see hunting – as well as man and his place in the animal kingdom – in the same way. Champoux, a proud hunter, just like his father and grandfather and his other ancestors for 300 years, wants to show why we must not only stop attacking hunters, but also why they are needed. Nothing less.
What we understand quite easily in this film is that among the Champoux, we hunt. And as one of them says: Even if I was forbidden, I would hunt the same. We, therefore, have the pleasure of discovering real passionate people. The same kind of passion that others may have to collect sports cards or cars. We even have the chance to see a 13-year-old boy who owns two rifles and has an incredible amount of dead and stuffed animals in his room. No wonder none of his friends want to sleep at home…
A weak argument
Unfortunately, the argument is weak. Very weak. When I am told that man does not have the choice to hunt because he has a regulatory role in wildlife, I am perplexed. And it does not get any better when I am told that since the world is a world man is hunting for food. Because it seems to me that we have also invented groceries, livestock and markets so that we humans can feed us. And with the amount of meat we waste each year, I do not think hunting is relevant for nutritional purposes.
In addition, Mal Élevés is only presenting us the point of view of the Champoux, all convinced hunters. No wildlife specialists, no scientists. Just hunters… But we do not miss to hear the director, several times, tell his daughter that villains attack hunters on Facebook or in newspapers. Well played! Using a 6-year-old girl (if I’m not mistaken) and her cute naïveté, it gives points. If we consider this ethical, obviously …
In the end, Mal Élevés is more like a pamphlet than a real documentary. Unless my values play me a trick… But I do not think so. But hey, “if the man was not there to kill deer, the wolves would do it.” You imagine?
Rating: 5.5 / 10
You can watch the trailer: