There are 8,765 hours in a year, and at the end of it, millions of euros’ worth of fireworks go up in smoke in the Netherlands, as in many other parts of the world. Many people enjoy this, but for animals, New Year’s Eve is a total nightmare. To make their experience tangible, Sebastian Mulder’s documentary takes an original approach: in the run-up to the big night, dogs belonging to different owners are fitted with a GoPro, and we follow their movements.
From the first bangs during the day to the deafening spectacle at midnight and in the hours afterwards, we witness the tension, stress and fear of the animals and their owners. This is certainly no celebration. We also see the effects on animals in pastures and in nature—the panic among horses, foxes and birds is filmed using infrared cameras.
The poetry of the nighttime shots and the fireworks filmed in slow motion contrast starkly with the trembling, panting and slobbering animals in bare bathrooms and under beds. No commentary is needed, the images and sound speak for themselves, and the message is loud and clear—even louder than the fireworks.