The Chances of the World Changing (2005)

Genres - Culture & Society, Nature  |   Sub-Genres - Animals, Biography, Environmental Science  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Eric Daniel Metzgar's human interest documentary The Chances of the World Changing hones in on the eccentric Richard Ogust, a former writer whose towering obsession with rescuing various species of turtle has consumed his life. Ogust spent years amassing literally hundreds of turtles - including many rare and endangered species purchased from food markets in the Asian tigers - which he housed and cared for in his New York City apartment. In time, he counted over 1,600 turtles. Intrigued by Ogust's story, Metzgar filmed him over the course of two years, a period that saw Ogust's difficulties mounting; his turtle population ballooned, and he thus found it necessary to rent a New Jersey warehouse to ultimately function as a terrarium. Meanwhile, the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife began to file various charges against Ogust, for (among other accusations) poor care of the turtles. Yet Ogust continued to import the animals at the expense of his own personal well-being. Metzgar sheds light on the value of Ogust's mission, its inherent difficulties, and the preservationist's sad inability to solicit help from outside parties as turtle populations decline.

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Keywords

animal-rescue, bankruptcy, eccentric, endangered-species, homelessness, tent, turtle, warehouse