Garden, Zoological


TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Fri, Apr 26, 2019 5:30 PM
TIFF Bell Lightbox 4 Sat, Apr 27, 2019 1:30 PM
Scotiabank Theatre 13 Sun, May 5, 2019 3:30 PM
Film Info
Country Listing:South Korea
Premiere Status:International Premiere
Festival Info
Festival Year:2019
Accessibility:Full Subtitles
Program Category:Animal Magnetism
Film Subjects:Animals & Animal Rights
Ecology & the Environment
Science & Technology
Cast/Crew Info
Director(s):Mincheol Wang
Producer(s):Wanghyung Lee
Editor(s):Jeehwan Ahn
Cinematography:Mincheol Wang
Composer:Seung-hyun Ryu


A small zoo in South Korea provides haunting insight into how animals are losing their innate instincts by having to adapt to artificial habitats. Cinematographer Mincheol Wang (On the Rim of the Sky, 2015) returns to Hot Docs with his directorial debut, a patient and powerful observation of life in captivity. Creatures are confined to cramped enclosures, endure constant human handling and anesthesia, receive inadequate diet and exercise, and submit to force-feedings and assisted reproduction, all in the name of conservation. The zookeepers are committed and caring—but is our human drive to care for cute animals killing them? Is our desire to observe wildness up close leading to its demise? Unable to hunt or roam, the zoo animals suffer from new physical and psychological ailments, degenerative diseases and "zoochosis." Garden, Zoological provokes soul searching on whether zoos are tools for conservation or incarceration. Angie Driscoll

Additional Information

  • NOW - Norman Wilner's top 10 must-see films at Hot Docs 2019
  • NOW - 4 Stars, "A simple, uninflected and moving meditation."