Animal rights charity PETA has defended director Lars von Trier over a disturbing scene in his new film - The House That Jack Built - that shows simulated graphic animal abuse.
The film starring Uma Thurman and Matt Dillon, which is currently garnering controversy at the Cannes Film Festival, has provoked horror among some audience members and critics.
The most shocking scene shows lead character - and serial killer - Jack, as a child. He cuts off a duckling's leg using a pair of pliers, then watches the animal drown after putting them back in a pond.
The film's trailer
According to PETA, it has released the statement in response to the 'numerous calls' it received regarding the film, defending the director for accurately depicting 'sickening' animal abuse - without actually hurting any animals.
The statement says: "PETA has confirmed that the 'leg' was created using movie magic and silicone parts. While depictions of gratuitous violence like this may leave viewers sickened, it’s true that serial killers, like the character in the film, often get their start by first torturing animals, making the scene all the more realistic and disturbing.
"PETA is also happy to report that the images of tigers in the movie were from stock footage, yet again proving that there’s no need to use live wild animals in productions, thanks to the many humane alternatives being embraced by filmmakers today."
The House That Jack Built will be released in U.S. theaters this fall.
Maria is a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.