Supporting one’s own ideals against what everyone consider the natural order of things. Looking at the world with the eyes of the victims, in order to give them a voice.
This is the story of Ohad, a young boy who chose to spend his life defending animals, not only following a vegan way of life, but fighting actively and devoutly to achieve the dream of a change, aware of the social and personal consequences of his cause.
Life According to Ohad is the beautiful and moving Israeli documentary which the director Eri Daniel Erlich leads us in the world of the main character with, making us look at things with an original perspective. The movie obtained a Special Mention in the International Documentary Competition in Turin at CinemAmbiente Environmental Film Festival 2015, member of the Green Film Network.
More than everyone, Ohad can read humanity in the eyes of animals and disapproves the systematic abuse that human beings commit towards them, like an actual holocaust. Because of his principles, Ohad had to give up the relationship with his family for years. To recover these feelings he decided to create a connection with his world and his battles.
“The ties between Ohad and me are very close”, explains Eri Daniel Erlich, whom we talked about the film with. “Like him, I also see the world like a cauldron of suffering, and the human being as the main cause of it. This common view convinced Ohad to expose to me and the camera his despair and his rage, and his sincere and uncompromising viewpoint. Behind Ohad’s intense alienation from his environment, there is an immense and ingenuous empathy towards animals. This empathy places his in a catch which has Ohad in its grip for more than a decade of intensive and Sisiphycal activism without any visible reward”.
In his soul, Ohad feels the pain of thousands of massacred innocents, and this encourages him to take part in rescue operations, dangerous irruptions in slaughterhouses to record its abuses, shocking flash mobs and performances in which his body becomes an instrument to make people aware in a strong and efficient way.
In this same way viewers face, maybe for the first time, a reality which is too often unheeded or minimized, as the director highlights. “While shooting, we got a large number of areas where animals were raised for the purpose of slaughter. Besides the enormous suffering caused to these animals, we could see with our own eyes the rivers of blood that flowed from vast amounts of animals. Raising animals for food requires massive amounts of land, food, energy and water. The byproducts of animal agriculture pollute air and waterways. By shunning animal products, vegans are de facto environmentalists”.
Through the violent impact with the cruel and suffering reality behind the industrial butchery, Ohad manages to help his family and the audience understand the validity of his position. The documentary also wants to encourage the viewers to reconsider, at least, their view of life and fight the indifference.
“We attempted to show a different viewpoint of our society by focusing on the sidelines, that most cinema and tv viewers are not aware of. There you find a world comprised of anger and desperation towards the status quo, a strong desire for change that is manifested by total dedication to the cause. All of this alongside the belief that there just might be a better world in the end if people keep active. There’s a very deep misunderstanding regarding social change activists, like Ohad’s ‘hypersensitivity’. This sensitivity is often perceived as a disconnection to reality. But instead those activists are much more connected to what is really happening in our reality, which isn’t as pleasant as one would like to think”.