The Ghosts in Our Machine
Billions of animals quietly suffer lives that are invisible and hidden from view, they live in dark places behind closed doors that we cannot see, their cries cannot be heard, they live unprotected by laws or regulations, their exploitation and abuse goes unseen, and yet these animals are conscious, feeling beings that suffer—and are not inanimate objects. These billions of animals are the prisoners of humans for use and business—for entertainment, food, research, and clothing. This social issue documentary highlights the human disconnect and contradiction between people who say they love animals and against animal cruelty, yet contribute to the suffering and harm of animals everyday by buying animal-based products and services.
The film examines how we have categorized animals into three groups: domesticated pets, wildlife, and all the others that we don’t want to think about because we use them. It shines a light on how we value our pets and wildlife, but we compartmentalize away our indifference toward the billions of helpless, innocent animals used for food, clothing, entertainment and research.
The Ghosts in Our Machine seeks to remove our blinders and reveal the shocking and overwhelming truth about our culture’s pervasive use of animals and the disconnect we maintain. Through the camera lens of passionate animal-rights advocate Jo-Anne McArthur, the film hauntingly illuminates the individual lives of animals living in these global animal industries, and follows undercover investigations about how they live and the rescue missions that take place to save some of the more fortunate ones.
This beautiful, compelling and moving film is for everyone. Through groundbreaking photography and the telling of true stories, the film underscores our disconnect and contradiction, and how we unwittingly or knowingly end up contributing to The Ghosts in Our Machine. But you can be the change for the Ghosts.
Film Release: 2013
Film Length: 1 Hour / 32 Minutes
What Film Reviewers are Saying
“You told a very beautiful, evocative and compelling story.” ~ Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, filmmakers of The War Room and Unlocking The Cage
“A masterpiece. Liz Marshall succeeded in doing the near impossible – making a piece of art so beautiful, and haunting and powerful that it touched the most profound place inside – a desire to truly see no matter how hard to watch, and to feel, however much it hurts, and most of all – to act.” ~ Shelly Saywell, writer, director and producer for Kim’s Story: A Child’s Century of War
“The Ghosts In Our Machine captures the compassion and the frustration of being an animal advocate; the willingness to help the helpless, coupled with the hopelessness of trying to stop an indifferent system. There are films about living by killing, and there are films about living by loving. This one covers both.” ~ Shaun Monson, writer/director: Earthlings and Unity
More About the Film
Watch the film Ghosts in Our Machine
Watch on Amazon
Learn about Animal Ambassadors
Learn about Animal Sentience
Visit Liz Marshall at www.lizmars.com
What You Can Do
- Sign the Animal Bill of Rights – Show your support for animals, and sign this petition to the U.S. Congress to give animals basic legal rights to protect them. Sign the Animal Bill of Rights.
- Eat Plant–Based, Take Animals Off Your Plate – See the Alternatives to Dairy; learn more about eating a plant-based diet, and the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.
- Go Fur-Free – See the Alternatives to Fur; and learn the truth about the fur industry, fur farms and fur trapping. Avoid buying or wearing anything made from animals.
- Go Cruelty-Free – Don’t buy or support products that are tested on animals, look for the Leaping Bunny logo, and download the lists of products and brands that are cruelty-free. Learn more about Animal Testing. See the Alternatives to Biomedical Research.
- Don’t Support Industries that Use Captive or Captive Performing Animals – See the Alternatives to Zoos and Aquariums. Learn the truth about circuses, zoos and amusement parks. Learn about dolphinarium, aquariams and marine parks. Speak out against businesses that force animals into captivity, and also force them to perform.
- Get Involved – See the organizations working on behalf of animals used for research, fashion, and food here.
- Download the Digital Educational Guide – The Guide is for all educators, learners and audiences who wish to further their understanding of The Ghosts In Our Machine documentary and the issues it raises. Recommended for grade levels: 8 – 12, College, University, Adults. Download PDF here.
- 2015 – Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary, Canadian Screen Awards
(Liz Marshall, Nina Beveridge)
- 2015 – Best Direction in a Documentary Program, Canadian Screen Awards
- 2015 – Best Photography in a Documentary Program; Canadian Screen Awards
(John Price, Iris Ng, Nick de Pencier, Liz Marshall)
- 2015 – Best Sound in a Documentary Program, Canadian Screen Awards
(Garrett Kerr, Daniel Pellerin, Jason Milligan)
- 2014 – Official Honoree, 18th Annual Webby Awards, Best Use Of Interactive Video
(The Goggles, Liz Marshall, Nina Beveridge, Sean Embury)
- 2013 – Top Transformational Film, Viewers Choice
- 2013 – Top Ten Audience Favourite Award, Hot Docs Film Festival
- 2013 – Best Nature/Environment Golden Sheaf Award, Yorkton Film Festival
- 2013 – Compassion for Animals Award, Toronto Vegetarian Association
- 2013 – Special Jury Prize – International Competition, DMZ Docs
- 2013 – Best Canadian Feature, Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival
- 2013 – Green Screen Award, 2nd place, Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival
- 2013 – Top Twenty Audience Favorite Award, IDFA
Ghost Media Presents: A Film by Liz Marshall
Featuring: Jo-Anne McArthur, author of the book We Animals and documentary project weanimals.org
Directed By: Liz Marshall
Produced By: Nina Beveridge and Liz Marshall
Commissioning Editor for Documentary: Bruce Cowley
Edited By: Roland Schlimme and Roderick Deogrades
Cinematography by: John Price, Iris Ng, Nick de Pencier, Liz Marshall
Original Music Score: Bob Wiseman
Executive Producer: Mila Aung-Thwin