Hungarian Shame - Drowning Kitten Video
A Hungarian man, Zoltan Toepler, filmed a so called artistic video entitled "Álszent" (Hypocrite), the majority of which was footage of a kitten being held, struggling, underwater until it drowned after two minutes. He submitted his art film and won an award.
The film was presented at the 38th Hungarian short film forum where it won an award for its content, which is about a sect leader and his search for God. The jury members claim that they didn't know that the cat in the movie was actually killed. The film maker's excuse, whose alias is Nicholaus Myslicki (real name is Zoltan Toepler), was that the cat was sick and would have been euthanized the next day.
Neither Mr. Toepler (director) nor the Jury Member on the film forum, Mr. Peter Timar was willling to talk to the reporter from Index.hu. As a matter of fact they hung up on the reporter.
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There is a law of 2004 that supposedly protects vertebrate animals against cruelty. The penalty is two years in prison, and community work. When the film was presented to the press several journalists left the preview.
Hungarian police are said to be investigating the film director after an animal-protection charity reported him for drowning a kitten in a scene from the recent prize-winning film.
The Herman Otto Animal and Nature Defence Association reported Zoltan Toepler after he admitted that a kitten really died in the scene from his film Alszent (Hypocrite).
A statement by the association said the animal had been killed with the greatest possible suffering to achieve "the desired effect," and called this a serious crime against society.
The association said that according to Hungarian law, animals could only be killed for acceptable reasons, such as incurable illnesses and academic research.
It also pointed out that animals could only be killed by drugs, as this caused the least suffering.
Toepler released a statement in response to hate mail, including death threats, he received after the complaint came to light.
The director said that while the animal had been killed, he had received the footage from an outside source.
"I didn't drown the kitten, but when a colleague showed me the footage, I said this must go in the film," he said. ""When I asked where the footage came from, I was told that it was a sick animal incapable of living that was put down."
"I would judge those who torture feeling creatures, but not the cameraman who filmed it," he continued.
Members of the film-week jury said in statement on the event's website that they would withdraw the award if it could be proven beyond a doubt that the animal was killed simply for the sake of the film.
The author used the awful excuse of saying the cat was ill and that it would have been euthanasiated the next day. After realizing this would not work, he said the footage came from an outside source and that after seeing it, he had to have it in his movie.
The jury said they thought it was a special effect.
We in the West are not idiots, let us not allow this to go away unpunished. There are enough animals suffering in this world, we shouldn't let people provoke more, for the sake of so called art. Not only should Zoltan be punished for animal cruelty, the cameraman as well, and the jury of the festival need to give out a press release on what action if any has been taken.
Please sign the Online Petition to fight against this cruelty and spread the word about it. Let's just hope Zoltan Toepler and the cameraman do not get away with this, the Hungarian Authorities need to take this very seriously and take appropriate action.
If no appropriate action is taken against Zoltan Toepler, it will show just how sad and sick Hungary is as a country.