We are happy to present one of this year’s most acclaimed short documentaries, directed by American filmmaker and visual artist Patrick Bresnan. Set in the Everglades of South Florida, The Rabbit Hunt introduces us to a family hunting rabbits in the fields of the largest industrial sugar farm in the U.S. The practice is both an old rite of passage for young men, and for 17 year-old Chris and his siblings, a way to bring food to the table and save money. Through a cinematic, honest and clever lens, Bresnan brings us an American story foreign to most.
The family introduced in The Rabbit Hunt lives in a town called Pahokee, on the border of Lake Okeechobee in Florida. Patrick Bresnan has been driving through and photographing the area and its surroundings for the past 20 years, since his father moved to West Palm Beach. Bresnan, and his filmmaking and life partner Ivete Lucas, are familiar with the town and close to its people; their previous short The Send-Off (2016) follows the same community on the night of a glitzy high school prom, contrasting with their rural and industrial environment. It is interesting to note that the town is only a few hours west of Donald Trump’s mansion in Mar-a-Lago.
“I had been photographing the burning sugar fields for many years. The main young man in our film The Send-Off had rabbit hunted to pay for most of his prom expenses. We had such a good relationship with his family that it was a natural progression from the previous film to record them hunting. The rabbit hunting also showed how entrepreneurial the kids in Pahokee are. They have no access to jobs except the jobs they create for themselves. I have always found it quite heroic – running through a burning field to put food on the table and save money.” PATRICK BRESNAN
Patrick Bresnan and Ivete Lucas have been making films together for the past eight years, and they have since become exciting talents in the independent documentary world, regularly invited by the great film festivals. The Send-Off premiered in Sundance and won jury awards at SXSW, AFI Fest, and San Francisco Film Festival. Their new short Roadside Attraction (2017) premiered this year at the Toronto Film Festival. The Rabbit Hunt screened in Berlin and SXSW and won nineteen awards in festivals around the world. Bresnan and Lucas are currently working on the post-production of their new feature documentary Pahokee.
We would like to thank Topic, a new entertainment and storytelling studio from First Look Media dedicated to working with creators at the forefront of culture on stories of consequence, for making this program available on Le Cinéma Club.
- Credits for
- THE RABBIT HUNT
- Christopher Burgess, Crystal Burgess, Da’Tavious Burgess, Deante Burgess, Kevis Burgess, Ta’Questa Browning, Chris Felton & Ka’Nia Jackson
- written by
- Ivete Lucas
- produced by
- Ivete Lucas, Maida Brankman & Patrick Bresnan
- executive producer
- Beth Earl
- Patrick Bresnan
- Ivete Lucas