Directed by Donny Moss.
This illuminating and provocative documentary tackles the issue of inhumane treatment of NYC carriage horses. Most members of the public consider horse-drawn carriages to not only be romantic, but an integral part of their experience in New York City. The horses seem pretty to look at while riders relax on the carriage seats, but those deceptive comforts hide the harsh reality that lurks within the horse-drawn carriage industry. Those horses, which are inherently prey animals, simply cannot adapt to the strenuous conditions in New York City which include sounds such as car honks, screeching breaks and sirens that startle them along with the hard, unnatural pavement that gets swelteringly hot during the summer. To avoid getting too startled from their surroundings, the horses have blinders on the side of their eyes which obscure their peripheral vision. Numerous horses have been injured and some have been killed in accidents while other horses have merely collapsed from exhaustion. They have no room to freely roam around in open areas like they would do in out in nature and even their housing facilities have them living in small spaces, which look like jails, where they canít lie down to fall into a deep, comfortable sleep. Once carriage owners donít need them anymore, some of them send them out to a farm to peacefully retire them while others have them killed for meat, which is sold in other countries such as France and China. Director Donny Moss wisely includes interviews with a wide variety of people ranging from tourists, carriage drivers, veterinarians, animal rights activists and politicians to make for a well-balanced and insightful documentary. He also includes some graphic images of injured horses and one that dies by electrocution which feels shocking and disturbing. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) arenít really doing their job to ensure to safety of carriage horses and monitor the carriage driversí actions because theyíre too understaffed. Meanwhile, insensitive politicians such as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn are too cowardly to support a bill to ban horse-drawn carriages. What happened to peopleís conscience? Are the profits of the horse-drawn carriage industry more important than the safety of horses? Even Mayor Rudolf Giuliani believes that if they were banned from New York City, it would hurt business in town because fewer tourists would come to the city. However, thatís not the case in Paris where theyíre already banned. At a running time of 53 minutes, Blinders, manages to be a heartbreaking, profoundly illuminating and vital documentary. It will open your eyes, make you feel outraged and inspire you to demand immediate reform. Please click here to find out how you can take action and here to purchase the DVD. The film airs on the Documentary Channel on Friday, March 27th @ 7 PM ET, Monday, April 20th @ 10 PM ET and Saturday, April 25th @ 6 PM ET. Number of times I checked my watch: 0. Released by McMoss Productions.