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February 15, 2011 > Movie Review: Rabbit Fever

Movie Review: Rabbit Fever

A Hare Raising Movie

You've heard of dog and horse shows, but are you familiar with rabbit shows? "Rabbit Fever" is a coming-of-age story that follows six competitors as they strive to win the top title at the National American Rabbit Convention - an event that draws more than 20,000 rabbits in one building, the largest mass of rabbits in the world. While adult members of the rabbit habit compete for "Best in Show," teenage enthusiasts quest for an even more coveted honor in the rabbit community - Rabbit King and Queen.

Director Amy Do captured over 150 hours of footage, documenting the same rabbit enthusiasts at the American Rabbit Breeder's Association National Convention over the course of five years. Do initially produced Rabbit Fever as a 20-minute documentary short for her film class while studying at the University of Southern California. It wasn't until Academy-Award nominated instructor, Chuck Braverman (director of the documentary, Curtain Call), approached her after class and asked if he could cut a promo version of the film to pitch to television networks that Do felt encouraged to flesh out the subject and make it feature-length.

The reason behind making a film about rabbits in the first place? "I used to be one of them." Do states and laughs, referring to the passionate people that appear in "Rabbit Fever." At age 11, Do cared for two pet Dutch rabbits of her own, taking pride in the fact that they followed her around everywhere. Later on, at age 20, Do decided that she missed having rabbits and decided to raise a couple of purebred Dwarf Hotots in her college apartment. "My landlord didn't mind. He was too intrigued by the sight of them to worry about the fact that pets weren't really allowed in the building," Do admits. "Of course, I think the little doll couch that I purchased for them to lounge on might have thrown him off a bit."

"Although the intense competition drives the film forward to its climax, the heart of Rabbit Fever lies within the passion, charm and sometimes quirkiness of its subjects. You can replace the teens' love of rabbits with any other hobby or sport, and empathize with their motivation and goals. It's just another vehicle that young adults use to challenge and express themselves, making Rabbit Fever not only a film about rabbits, but also a very unique coming-of-age story," says Do.

Rabbit Fever
Saturday, February 19
6 p.m. (doors open at 5 p.m.)
Bal Theatre
14808 E 14th St., San Leandro
Box Office: (510) 614-1224
Tickets: $10
Runtime: 85 Minutes

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