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By Felix Vasquez Jr. | January 21, 2007

2007 SUNDANCE ONLINE SHORT! Harper’s “Cubs” explores a world that hasn’t just lost its heritage, but possesses age old traditions that have passed on and evolved into modern times. Harper meanwhile declares the inherent idiocy behind the rites of passage rituals, one of which are Fox Hunting.

“Cubs” may not be the most coherent commentary on the topic, but it’s disturbing enough for audiences to get the message. A local gang member organizes a much anticipated midnight fox hunt around the neighborhood, and a young boy and his girlfriend are anxious to join up and prove themselves. But when confronted with the grim brutality of watching an animal be torn to bits by pit bulls, beaten by a mob, and then shot in the head, they decide that it’s a vastly overrated activity of the neighborhood, one that really doesn’t prove anything but the sheer height of human cruelty. But for our young man who takes center stage, it may be too late to turn back and part from the group who revels in the murder in a helpless animal.

In a world where teens struggle to define where their childhood ends, and adulthood begins, fox hunting transforms from a rite of passage, to a simple exercise in teenagers relieving their aggression in small animals. Because killing a helpless Fox makes you a man, right?

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