The Ghosts In Our Machine

November Director’s Blog

A fox confined to a small wire mesh cage in a crowded fur farm. Large litters of babies are born each spring and then slaughtered in November to December for luxury fur commodities: trims, hats, coats …   Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur for The Ghosts In Our Machine.


We recently completed the ROUGH CUT of the documentary. What a feat! It’s been a long journey to get to this point: a year of filming and over 4 months of editing from 160 hours of gathered material! The artistry and sensitivity that our team has contributed to this project is palpable: cinematography, editing and music – beautiful and haunting.  Editor Rod Deogrades and I begin the next editing phase imminently.

Something I really look forward to is the audio design and mix. Sound will be a critical aspect of the final film, to help accentuate the animal characters, their experience, predicament and the environments they inhabit. It will add a very strong dimension to the viewing experience – helping to bring the animals into the room.

One scene where sound will be especially significant is an investigation that is featured in the film. We filmed fox, raccoon-dog and mink fur farms during the spring season when large litters of babies are born. We witnessed their living conditions and the suffering they endure  confined to small pathetic crowded and dirty wire-mesh cages, the piercing sounds of incessant crying, mutilation injuries and repetitive circling motions. Tragically, their mothers are breeding machines until they are no longer useful to the system. Later this month these babies we met will be slaughtered for their soft commoditized pelts.  The pelts are sold as luxury goods for fur trims, coats, hats … It is shocking but true, fur fashion is on the rise around the world.

The Ghosts In Our Machine has forever captured their soulful questioning tormented eyes, to share with the world.

For the ghosts,

Liz  Marshall

Liz Marshall films in a fox fur farm. Photo by Jo-Anne McArthur for The Ghosts In Our Machine.


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  1. Coach Donna November 7, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Liz, you and your team are my heroes- documenting and witnessing the most horrendous cruelties in order to make these ghosts seen. You are creating such a positive wave of change for the animals. I love all of you and what you do.

    For the Ghosts

  2. markgil November 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    “We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the devil in human form.”- William Ralph Inge

    “I am ashamed of the race of beings to which I belong. It is so cruel and bigoted, so hypocritical, so soulless and insane. I would rather be an insect … a bee or a butterfly … and float in dim dreams among the wild-flowers of summer than be a man and feel the horrible and ghastly wrongs and sufferings of this wretched world.” -Professor J. Howard Moore

  3. victoria November 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I can’t wait for your documentary. I am getting so excited about it. I love how you have put it–ghosts in the machine. The photos of Jo Anne McArthur are really art, and are so powerful that just by looking at them, they deepened my understanding of animal rights forever. I hope it is true, that art really does have the power to change the world. You are really doing something important…I believe in you and your mission!

  4. Linda Fabiano November 20, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Thank you for having the courage and strength to do this heart wrenching work. My heart aches and breaks for the billions of animals that the human race uses and abuses. For every person who sees animals differently after watching, I thank you. For every tortured life that is saved, I thank you. May all beings know peace.

  5. Marc Bekoff November 26, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Thank you for making this film, as difficult as it must have been . I wrote this about it —

    all the best, marc bekoff, and with Jane Goodall,

  6. Liz Marshall November 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Thank you Marc for the wonderful article in Psychology Today! Talk soon.
    All the best to you.
    – Liz