The people who get a little bit more experience on the farm do feel the whip.”
In response, a Farmington Hills, Michigan, activist group called Horse Freedom Project released a statement, called “Dear Horse” in reference to the film. It accused the studio of “playing politics with the lives of the horses being abused, and using horse pain and suffering as a marketing scheme to raise money for a documentary about horses fighting in war.”
The controversy over the film has gone beyond its production. In the weeks since the film’s premiere, more than 25,000 people have signed a petition for the film to be pulled from theaters.
The petition, which was created by people from around Los Angeles, California, calls for the “instigators” in the controversy, filmmakers Amy Berg and David Lowery, and studio CEO Jon Feltheimer, to be fired.
“The filmmakers have intentionally twisted my words in a way that’s offensive and completely defames me as a person and a human being,” wrote author Robert Mazzello, who has spent the past eight years living with “horse pain.”
The film’s official Facebook page has been flooded with the comments of people from the San Fernando Valley, Orange County, and throughout the country.
“You’ve made a big mess of this,” one critic said, urging the film’s studio to “not let [you] get away with that.”
A number of posters at the film’s official Facebook page have also been critical of its director.
On the site “Film-Punk” — a film-oriented social network that is primarily devoted to film-loving, hippie-y types — there are more than 2,000 comments, many of them from people who have “been there — done that.”
FilmPunk founder and creator Joe Stroud has said he and his friends have seen and “banged on doors” for hours, calling out Berg through a variety of social media channels.
“All that happened was these other people [outside] would just come in and say ‘Is that movie real?’ or ‘I watched that movie today,'” Stroud told CNN. “That’s what people don’t understand is film. We’ve seen movies and they’ve been made with the same people, and it is true, too.”
Some have even taken it as a personal insult, citing Berg’s “vile” comments about working horses and the fact that she owns a
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