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Electrocuting an Elephant

Film Review by Dean Duncan May 28, 2015

This is an appalling vision, one likely to generate all kinds of huffy, self-righteous thoughts. This noble creature, so ignominiously murdered! You cringe in anticipation as Topsy walks up and past. You cringe even more as that terrible current goes through, and at the prospect of that distress and destruction. Goes to show—there’s always more to every story. Here is the downside of observational cinema, more than half a century before people started worrying about the downside of observational cinema. Someone say something! Intervene, or at least give us some context.

As it turns out, this noble creature was also a man killer, thrice over. On the other hand, the last victim had been abusing him most cruelly. The smallest thing contains the biggest things…