Dr. Willemien Sanders is a regular critic at Modern Times Review.
The kind of visual, implicit documentary that defies storytelling dogmas.
Producer:
Country: Belgium 2017, 42min.

Mist slowly drifting up along a forested ridge; the sound of water, birds screeching.

The cleaning of a white van and metal cages; barking dogs.

Dense forest lit by sunlight; birds singing.

Dogs in a cage, a concrete floor, metal sides and bars; a man with a hose cleaning.

A forest stream cascading down; vapour rising up in lush green; the sound of water.

In Dream Box, Jeroen Van der Stock and DOP Xavier Van D’huynslager contrast sounds and images to tell a story about the Tokushima Kanri Center. This is an animal centre on Japan’s Shikoku Island where abandoned and stray cats and dogs are delivered to be castrated/sterilised and then … yes, then – what?

Japan is known for its ‘kawaii culture’: the love for anything cute and adorable (think Hello Kitty). However, when cute pets become superfluous, this love quickly evaporates. Dealing with the animals at the center seems a matter of processing. In a highly automated environment, existing mainly of concrete and steel, the furry animals and the rare blanket they get to lie down on appear to be the only soft . . .

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