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Your Mommy Kills Animals 

 

The title of Curt Johnson's documentary about animal-rights activists is from a grotesquely illustrated comic book that PETA reputedly hands out to kids. Yup, PETA comes off pretty ugly here, as does that other perennial cute-sad-puppy fund-raiser, the Humane Society of the United States. But then, the fanatical hooded "liberators" breaking into labs don't come off so great either. Somewhere in the middle is the slippery slope between animal welfare (i.e. shelters) and animal rights, embodied by groups such as the Animal Liberation Front. While Your Mommy gives all a voice (including too many poorly identified interview subjects), more contextual background on animal-welfare and -rights movements would have helped. Likewise, its reliance on interviews alone makes the film's secondary themes -- the suppression of free speech and the recent legal re-classification of animal-rights protesters as terrorists -- feel underdeveloped. Regardless, Johnson's film manages to be remarkably even-handed while stomping through these hot-button issues; Your Mommy is certainly provocative, and likely to please, infuriate and intrigue all sides. Starts Fri., Sept. 7. SouthSide Works 

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