Original title:Chance
Director:Kenny Roy
Running time:94 minutes
Release date:05 june 2017 (France)

Whispertone's Review

The animated educational feature film “Chance,” from producer Phil James and producer/writer Kenny Young, of James Young Entertainment, took over seven years of love and labor to achieve. The story of Chance (Will Cannon) follows a young pup who is a dreamer with an extraordinary imaginative mind and a peaceful heart, that is sold into the deadly despicable world of underground dog fighting. Taken from his pleasant home and siblings, Chance is literally thrown into a dangerous yard where he connects with two other dogs, Sugar (Peppur Chambers) and Hannibal (Eddie Goines). Sugar aids Chance due to his kind and somewhat hopeless demeanor while Hannibal befriends him for his lack of knowledge of the abusive world they have been thrust into. Together the trio form a bond to try to help themselves survive their threatening environment and their owners behavior of cruelty for sport.

“Chance” is the heart shattering tale of how vicious the underground society of dog fighting can be on canine companions. Chance goes from a sweet innocent puppy (hutona) that simply wants to look at “bombols” (clouds) in the sky to a monstrous killing dog. The tragic transformation of Chance throughout the animated film is one of loss, lonely, and death. Empathising with Chance as he is stripped away from all he knows we begin to understand how devastating it is to separate animals from their families as it would be difficult for any person. The abuse Chance suffers is hard to watch at times but the film shines a bright light on the subject matter that is much hidden away from the conscious individual. Out of sight out of mind. This is not a animation film for the faint of heart but everyone should open their perspective to how horrific life becomes for these beautiful creatures that simply want to share their unique form of love.

On the journey that Chance is forced to survive through he encounters other “hutonas” (dogs) that have already been indoctrinated into the underground fighting world. They are terribly scarred, and far deeper than the surface layers of their fur, they are cut to their very souls. The preciousness of their lives is completely disregarded by the “crut” (human) captors that use them for this awful sport.

Though Chance is on a perilous journey he is full of determination to be a good fighting dog and survive but his first altercation results in his path crossing with another “huntona” who turned on the humans during a fight and what his punishment might be. The other dog gives disgustingly cruel but true to life methods for disposing of a dog that will not fight. The methods are disturbing to watch and more so too when the viewer realizes that they actually happen.

Eventually, and sadly, Chance is turned and instead of refusing to kill in a fight he succumbs to the poisonous savage cycle of these underground dog fights and performs as his “crut” masters demand. Unfortunately for the story telling the reason for Chance to finally cave in to the sadistic lifestyle is due to Hannibal’s betrayal. Instead of focusing the malicious intent that these humans require of the dogs an easier path is used. It is understandable as to why but even so, as a storytelling mechanism this incident in the film is weak and takes away from the human aspect of animal abuse. As a film it is forgivable and miniscule but what these humans do to dogs in real life accounts is monumentally unforgivable.

This love of labor took seven years from inception to completion and it has all been to help spread the word on how underground dog fighters live and most likely, die. Message received: Loud and appallingly clear. Gruesome, distressing and agonizing to watch at times “Chance” is a significant addition to the crusade to end animal abuse. Tearenducing moments occur excessively during the film and it is because of the accuracy towards the source material. Director Kenny Roy, who was brought onto the project by James Young Entertainment, and producer/writer Kenny Young have accomplished a harrowing tale of the violence set upon dogs. A resonating theme of slavery is subtly placed beneath the surface that parallels with the story of “Chance.” These two themes align and aid one another in the depiction of the sorrowful reality that is dog fighting.

Thomas McGill is the composer for “Chance” and is without a doubt the backbone to the film. The score for the abrasive topic is intense and melodically driven to command the undivided attention of audiences members. It is charming when the mood is playful, despondent when isolating and vitally inspiring when all seems never endingly hopeless. “Chance” is a film that must be seen and is a story that necessitates to be heard when every single one of the victims has no voice to cry out pleading for help.

Played 06.05.17 at Dances with Films

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