Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Animal Appetites

  • Rating: **
  • Audience: High School to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $50.00 Home use: $39.95
  • Date: Copyright 1991. Released 1992.
  • Descriptors: Cambodian Americans. United States - Immigration and emigration. Culture conflict. Race relations.
  • Production Information: Live action, Stills. Produced by Michael Cho. Directed by Michael Cho. Music by David Javelosa. Color. Also available in 3 /4 inch. Dolby, Stereo. 20 min.
  • Available from: CrossCurrent Media 346 9th Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94103 (415) 552-9550
  • Cataloging: 305.8'959"3 Cambodian Americans||Ethnic relations - California||Documentary films
  • Print Entry #: 5:457
  • Reviewer: Mary Mueller

    This video profiles the controversy that arose in California when two Cambodian immigrants were arrested for eating dog meat in 1988. It attempts to show viewers how different societies have differing cultural values, but it is often unfocused in its objective and does not make its point very well.

    Opening with an example of a Chinese emperor who greatly enjoyed eating dog, this production tries to show that eating habits are strongly influenced by culture. The program provides details of the case and statements from people who have strong opinions about the issue, including those who see nothing wrong with eating exotic meats and officials from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who argue for protection. The California law that prohibits the slaughter and consumption of pets passed in response to this case is also examined and discussed. Although the producers are obviously trying to make a cultural point here, there is no clear message to the program. It is not well organized and swings from humor to seriousness too quickly and too often.

    Technical quality is average. There are no obvious mistakes or glitches, but transitions are not smooth, and there is too much interview footage.

    Although the subject of cultural clash is an interesting one, this program will not have a large audience. It is too short to discuss or illustrate this issue well, yet it is not a clear human interest story with, for example, profiles of the arrested men that describe their adjustment to life in America. While there may be some regional interest where immigration is very high, this is not a good choice for most school or public libraries.

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