February 28, 2008
- Laura Giovanelli
About four years ago, Eleni Vlachos' brother sent her an e-mail explaining why he eats meat.
Her response is Seeing Through the Fence, a documentary that is part personal history and part commentary on the state of factory farms and slaughterhouses. Vlachos, a vegan, does not eat anything that comes from an animal, including dairy, eggs and honey.
It's the contradiction between our compassion for animals and our tendency to eat them, too, that Vlachos explores through interviews with vegan activists, with family in Seattle and in Greece, with strangers on South Street in Philadelphia and at a dog park in Durham. Vlachos named the film after a chain-link fence that her grandmother used to fence in her yard. Her grandmother explains in the film's opening minutes that she used a chain-link fence instead of a wooden one so that her dog could see out.
"I felt like first when you become an activist of anything, there's a tendency to become mad, and that anger doesn't translate when you're trying to talk to people," Vlachos said.
"I think most people are compassionate ? so it's just a matter of exploring some things we do and seeing how we can challenge and change some of those things."
Seeing Through the Fence will be screened 8:30 p.m. Friday at The Werehouse in Winston-Salem, 211 E. Third St. Admission is $5.