The long-anticipated documentary Catnip Nation will have its New York premiere at the Big Apple Film Festival August 27-29 at the Cinepolis Theater on 23 rd Street. The film screened for the first time at the Hoboken International Film Festival in May, where it won Best Documentary for the festival.
In Catnip Nation, a 75-minute documentary, Good Samaritans risk hostility, political persecution, and legal prosecution to care for feral cats living in colonies. The main characters in the documentary Catnip Nation, who live miles apart and come from different walks of life, invite us into a world of advocacy, political wrangling, and legal intrigue.
The characters show us what it’s like to be punished for acts of kindness. Willing to risk arrest and imprisonment, they’ve transformed their lives in the fight to teach others about humanity and responsibility. We as a human race have to care for creatures who live in a netherworld between pets and wildlife. The success of their battles are mixed but the message is consistent: This nation needs laws to humanely manage “community cats,” and to protect people who look after them.
Catnip Nation is not a pedagogic platform to preach about a movement known as TNR (Trap Neuter Return), in which cats living in groups are overseen by caretakers who fix and vaccinate them and feed them until they die off. But the film is inadvertently designed to enlighten. The goal of TNR, a spreading practice worldwide, is to winnow down cat colonies until the closed-system fades away. TNR is complex because it requires buy-in from government, law enforcement and grassroots citizens, who almost always do the real work.
Tickets for Catnip Nation are available here.