Tigers in captivity and crime, in “the Tiger King” America loves the zoo – The Print


Over 34 million viewers in the Usa in 10 days (among fans Kim Kardashian, Jared Leto and Kevin Bacon); an invasion on social comments, jokes, theories, accusations, memes (images and short video humorous and satirical); dozens of studies on the media, including articles in fashion styles of the protagonists. Are reflected in the enormous popular success of the Tiger King, the docuserie true crime in 7 episodes (plus an “aftershow” of depth just made available) to Netflix signed by Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin.

Is the portrait of a world that is crazy and violent, excess, and distress, obsessive, and built on oppression, that has as protagonist the 57-year-old Joe Exotic, alias of Joseph Allen Maldonado, Passage, owner of the G. W Zoo in Oklahoma, which has come to have over 1200 between the tigris (apparently more than 220), lions, bears, and monkeys, which specialises in the breeding of tiger cubs and lion which he sold to exhibitors, trade fairs and private, which often would make a bad end. The documentary episodes, shot over five years, focuses on the clash between Joe Exotic, “a boor gay armed and with the cutting of hair in the German” as he himself describes it, and to Carole Baskin, that is dedication (even with the support of Peta) for the protection of the big cats exploited for commercial purposes, with its center at “Big Cat rescue”, the activity is not free of shadows. The feud brings Joe, who in 2015 was also a candidate before the Us presidential elections (which did flourish in the public comparisons with Trump), and then, as governor of the state of Oklahoma to end up in prison, with a sentence of 22 years for animal abuse and for having commissioned the murder (then jumped) the “enemy”.

Goode and Chaiklin, started from the idea of telling with an original cut, the paradox of presence in the Usa of a number between 10 thousand and 25 thousand tigers in captivity, compared to less than 4000 in freedom in the world, they say have unearthed a universe of trash, full of abuses and in the background a criminal, which did not imagine the existence: “in The beginning was in any way funny, then it became very dark,” explained the Hollywood Reporter. A reality that will soon become a drama series, inspired by the podcast on the story titled Wondery: the star of Saturday Night Live, Kate McKinnon, will be Carole Baskin while you have not yet chosen Joe Exotic (he would like to interpret it David Spade or Brad Pitt).

The traits cupissimi in real history are not lacking: Joe Exotic, a lover of the spotlight, is a lover of arms and of boys (she had four husbands, of whom two are married together, and one is tragically gone), which also provided drugs. He chose as collaborators in the young people from the difficult past that could dominate (one of the involved animals, that the zoo has lost half arm, continues to defend him). A reality also reflected from another of the figures at the center of the docuserie, Bhagavan Doc Antle, a supplier of wild animals for Hollywood films and owner of another large zoo, where he was surrounded by girls very young and they often become also his sexual partner that defines a `large family. In addition, the public was unleashed on the past, evoked by the documentary filmmakers, Carole Baskin, that some suspect to have killed her second husband, Don Lewis, making disappear the body, between the tigris in its center.

The accusation (relaunched by Joe Exotic and the family of Lewis) has never been proven, and there has been a judicial follow-up, but Carole Baskin, has for many become the `bad, the messages continue to arrive poisonous and even death threats. The woman, who has collaborated from the beginning with the filmmakers thinking it was a documentary in defense of animals, now it says cheated on her from the cut given to the story. While Joe, who he found on social many of the fans (there is even a campaign, it is not known how ironic, to do so release from prison is said to the repentant, is working with Peta against the other breeders of big cats, and was sorry not to be out to enjoy the new popularity.

In recent days, the story of Joe Exotic is over even among the questions of a press conference for Trump, that on the hypothesis to grant him the grace he said, with a smile, do not know each other but that will give you a look.

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