Schweitzer’s Prayer for Animals
Who Are Struggling
Hear our prayer . . .
for the animals which might be overworked,
underfed, and cruelly handled;
for all wistful creatures in captivity
that beat their wings towards bars;
for any which might be hunted or misplaced,
abandoned, frightened; hungry;
for all which might be put to demise . . .
And for many who take care of them
we ask a coronary heart of compassion
And delicate arms and kindly phrases.
– from Peace to All Beings by Judy Carman
There are greater than 40 million donkeys on the earth, with massive numbers of them in Ethiopia, China, Pakistan, and Mexico. Donkeys have been working animals for greater than 5,000 years and at the moment, largely they’re used as pack animals or for draught work in transport or agriculture. These days, in western international locations, they’ve change into fashionable for childrens’ rides, sidekicks in animated films, and generally, as in EO a conduit for conveying each the kindness and the cruelty in human nature.
EO, a gray donkey, is the star of an 86-minute function movie which received this yr’s Jury Prize on the 2022 Cannes Movie Competition and was nominated for the Greatest Worldwide Characteristic on the Academy Awards. Veteran Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski received the thought to make a donkey the main focus of his movie when he noticed the massive quantity of emotion in EO’s eyes. It’s by these eyes that we see the world – and a darkish and delightful world it’s.
Because the movie opens, EO is performing in a circus with Kasandra (Sandra Drzymalska) who lavishes love upon him. Even when they’re separated, the purple of her costume appears to remind him of happier occasions. And mid-film, when she finds him and provides him the love he’s been lacking, she nonetheless leaves. EO trots off after her, however that companionship is brief lived.
Principally, EO is on his personal in numerous settings throughout Poland to Italy. Touring in a van, he sees a herd of horses working free. In a big barn, he admires some massive white horses however when he unintentionally knocks over a case of trophies, he’s taken away. For some time he lives on a farm the place kids need donkey rides. Later, he will get misplaced in a forest (fantastically photographed by cinematographer Michal Dymek) and is noticed by an owl and a fox.
He meets his share of excellent and dangerous people too. Whereas grazing outdoors a bar, he’s overwhelmed by a hockey group who suppose he’s the mascot for an opposing group. A kindly veterinarian nurses him again to well being.
Regardless that we see these experiences by his eyes, we don’t know what EO is pondering. He’s, in spite of everything, an animal. Happily, Skolimowski doesn’t anthropomorphize him. As a substitute he helps us see what it will be prefer to be a donkey. With out making a gift of the ending, allow us to recommend that there’s a message embedded in EO’s journey that had us rethinking the half we play within the lives of so many animals.
“Discovering peace inside and bringing peace to the world might begin with the capability to look into one other’s eyes and acknowledge there a kindred soul, whether or not the eyes belong to a German, a Dutchman, a good friend. A chimpanzee. Or a wolf.”
– Gary Kowalski