In Florida’s industrial sugarcane fields, rabbit-hunting is both a ritual and a way to survive
In parts of the Florida Everglades, there’s a tradition that dates back to the early 20th century in which young men – and now young women – use nothing but sticks and quick reflexes to hunt rabbits at the margins of sugar plantations. This short documentary from the filmmaking team Otis/Lucas follows the youngsters of one family through a day of hunting, from breakfast to fried-rabbit dinner. Raw and bracing, The Rabbit Hunt juxtaposes traditional and modern methods of food production, poverty and vast wealth, without any explicit commentary: as the sugarcane fields are burned to make the harvest more efficient, the kids stalk and whack rabbits fleeing the flames. With a vérité approach that leaves open the possibility of a range of interpretations, the film won honours at the SXSW Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, the BFI London Film Festival, and many others in 2017.
Director: Patrick Bresnan
Producer: Ivete Lucas