About the Film
Farm and Red Moon follows Audrey Kali, a university professor and prior vegan, as she confronts her investigation of farm animal slaughter practices. Americans know little about animal slaughter or the debates waging about how to do it humanely. Often overlooked, or overtly kept from view, slaughter is the final step in meat production, whether part of the local food movement or industrial agriculture.
We follow Kali as she visits farms and slaughterhouses to reveal the ambiguous moral underbelly of humane animal slaughter. The title, inspired by Marc Chagall’s painting, Farm and Red Sun, serves as a visual motif throughout the film. Looming over the farm is a huge red sun, bleeding into the sky. To Audrey, it is a moon with a dark side that cannot be seen, although she knows it must. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun in order to illuminate an otherwise dark night, the film illuminates a topic that for most people remains shrouded in darkness and mystery.
What starts out as a concern for the animals becomes a story about people. Kali’s transformation from self-righteous vegan to ambivalent omnivore occurs because she cannot turn down the offers of meat produced from animals raised lovingly by her gracious hosts. What she once saw as senseless acts of violence, she understands as a complicated agricultural system, pursued by decent people fully cognizant of the contradictions and complexity of their actions. The film documents Audrey’s quest to understand farmers and slaughterhouse workers through verstehen – understanding by experiencing their lives on their terms – eating meat and seeing their work from their point of view. It is the journey that the audience shares in as well.
Meet the Team
Audrey Kali, Protagonist, Co-Producer, Co-Director; Professor, Communication Arts, Framingham State University.
Audrey has published many articles on visual studies in academic journals. She received a grant from the Culture and Animals Foundation for Partitions, a short documentary about humane farming. Being a reviewer for the Journal for Critical Animal Studies informs her work on the cultural impacts of farm animal slaughter. Audrey earned a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Pittsburgh.
David Tamés, Co-Producer, Co-Director, Editor, Sound Designer, Colorist; Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Art + Design, Northeastern University.
David has worked on a wide range of independent films and new media projects including The David Hamilton Smith Story, a short documentary about the co-inventor of the vaccine that eliminated spinal meningitis. David holds an MS in Media Arts & Sciences from The MIT Media Laboratory and MFA in Communication Design from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Peter Miller, Story Consultant.
Peter has directed numerous documentaries, including Sacco and Vanzetti and A.K.A. Doc Pomus. His credits as producer include the PBS documentary series The War and Jazz, as well as the Peabody Award-winning Frank Lloyd Wright, Projections of America, a documentary about a little-known WWII propaganda film unit, The Uprising of ’34, Passin’ it On, and the Academy Award-winning American Dream.
Liza Case, Writer
Lauren Looney, Animator
Ellen Salemme, Impact Producer
Camerapersons: Allie Humenuk, Edward Slattery, Chuck Green, David Tamés
Assistant Editors: Dea Davita Krisanda, Velvin Nypson
Advisors: Temple Grandin, Advisor, Animal Science, World’s leading expert on humane animal handling and slaughter, author of Animals Make us Human; and Bernie Rollin, Advisor, Animal Ethicist, author of Putting the Horse Before Descartes.