Rukus is a furry movie premiering on Feb 2 – here’s the trailer and a review by Marbles.

by Patch O'Furr

The director of Rukus wrote in with a new trailer:

I’ve been reading Dogpatch Press for a long time and am a big fan. The film is called Rukus and it’s a feature-length doc-fiction hybrid, centered around my friendship with a furry from Orlando, Rukus, who took his own life in 2008. It goes into his life, and childhood, and some of the people he was close to in the furry community, but then also goes into my teenage years in Memphis, and stories relating to mental health, sexuality, and the politics of documentary filmmaking.

I hope you enjoy it, and I would love to hear what you think!

Brett Hanover

Movie synopsis:

A hybrid of documentary and fiction, ‘Rukus’ is a queer coming of age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds. Rukus is a 20-year-old furry artist, living with his boyfriend Sable in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. In his sketchbooks, Rukus is constructing an imaginary universe – a sprawling graphic novel in which painful childhood memories are restaged as an epic fantasy. Brett is a 16-year-old filmmaker with OCD, working on a documentary about kinky subcultures in spite of his own anxiety. After an interview leads to an online friendship, their lives entwine in ways that push them into strange, unexplored territories.

Written and Directed by: Brett Hanover
Assistant Directors: Alanna Stewart and Katherine Dohan
Additional Art and Writing: Rukus
Animation: Karolina Glusiec, Ben Holm, Eusong Lee
Original Music: Brian Saia

A preview was provided for a guest review, with thanks to Marbles:

Rukus is a film that is simultaneously familiar and unexpected. Director and writer Brett Hanover transforms a story about a lost member of the furry community into a series of moments that are so very human, while also depicting the struggles of feeling inhuman. There is a beautiful balance between reality and fantasy in which the documentary aspect takes the foreground and the narrative melts into it, the fiction becoming a part of the reality.

Brett Hanover takes advantage of the documentary style of filmmaking to fuse the stories together into a coherent message of feeling different and lost. The varying styles of camera work and editing set a pace for the film that is anxious yet comfortable. The audience is not ready to relax, yet can not help but relate to one or more of the issues that are involved in the lives of the characters and people in the film.

The story itself is a portrait of a bittersweet reality with moments of uncertainty and pain, but also discovery and bliss. The quiet dialogue between the story and the connection to the furry fandom itself is a brilliant one, connecting the idea that there is a sense of anxiety or loss in the human world, yet there is still hope in the realm of animals. However, this concept does not take the foreground, decidedly stating that sometimes there is no escape for those that need it.

Brett Hanover masterfully captures raw emotion in a well constructed and carefully crafted piece of cinema. The symbiotic relationship between the art of the film and the reality within it create a unique experience that is a delight for a cinephile, and an emotional experience for just about anyone else. Rukus is not a film only meant for those in the furry fandom. While others may be more hesitant due to the relation of the community within the film, I believe it can easily be overlooked by anyone who truly enjoys a good film and an impassioned story.

– Marbles

For anyone near the San Francisco Bay Area, join our furmeet for the movie premiere on Feb 2 – there will be fursuiting and dinner with the director.

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