Sheltered (2020)

0% – Audience

Sheltered Storyline

Daily life in the animal shelter of Amsterdam. In insite view in the daily business of helping animals and guiding them to their potential new owners.

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Sheltered Movie Reviews

Amsterdam’s abandoned animals and those who care for them

This fly-on-the-wall documentary covers a few weeks of life in a large animal sanctuary that houses dogs, cats and rabbits. We see the inmates arrive, receive treatment and care, and undergo preparation for re-homing. Some are badly injured, and there are scenes in the veterinary hospital that some, as they say, might find distressing. Some animals go to a good home, some are too sick to make it, and some are temperamentally incompatible with family life – unless the staff can train them to get along with humans despite previous bad experiences.

The unobtrusive filming allows the animals’ characters to come through, without anthropomorphising them. Even the most antisocial animals bond with their carers, but some can never return to the outside world.

The carers are not interviewed, but drop occasional remarks that reveal why they prefer animals to people – the usual charge levelled at those in the animal charity sector. In some cases, it’s presumably because they receive the love from animals that their fellow humans failed to provide.

This moving film emphasises the remarkable nature of the human-animal bond by showing the disastrous consequences of that bond being broken. Without over sentimentalising the work of animal sanctuaries, the film, without commentary or opinion, shows the daily acts of charity that, despite inevitable failures, show what it is to be truly humane.