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Review: Rodents of Unusual Size

Rodents of Unusual Size is destined for big things.

Rodents of Unusual Size is a quirky, intriguing insight into the impact of the non-native rodents called nutria in Delecroix Island, New Orleans. It introduces us to nutria hunting and uses an animated segment to tell us how the species were accidentally introduced to the area. We see a strange battle whereby nutria destroys the landscape while locals are killing them and bringing their severed tails to local authorities for money. The ethical problems are implied with visuals of dead nutria being tossed (tailless) into a pile of corpses.

As the documentary progresses we see the wider cultural impact of nutria: we see them as food, fur, pests, pets, zoo animals, and sports mascots.

Alongside this we see the ‘human’ story of Delecroix Island, mainly through the eyes of one elderly man who stubbornly will not leave, despite hurricane damage and rising water levels. At the end we get something unexpected: a heart-warming (despite him cutting off dead nutria tails) interview that gives us the impression that in this battle between man and nutria, there is a strange sense of harmony.

This offbeat documentary is a perfect capsule of humanity while focusing on an odd and specific cultural phenomenon.

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is a British writer who got lost in Toronto and decided to stay there. He likes indie films and bragging about liking indie films.