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All What Is Somehow Useful rhythmically arranges pictures from a series of early 20th-century animal experiments to a decidedly disturbing effect, evoking something of an eerie children’s story or lullaby, filled with friendly barnyard creatures whose fates are rather less cheerful. The sequences seem to reveal something both impressive and sinister about human nature, illustrating how adept we’ve become at using animals to serve our own ends. The short film features glass-plate photographs from a collection at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg’s Institute of Agricultural and Nutrition Sciences in Germany.
Director: Pim Zwier
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Film and visual culture
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Animals and humans
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